collection SC.336 - Rosine perfume fans, circa 1920

Identity area

Reference code



Rosine perfume fans, circa 1920


  • circa 1920 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 paper and wood fan

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Name of creator


Biographical history

Known as the King of Fashion, Paul Poiret, born in France in 1879, was a celebrated French couturier active during the first half of the 20th century. He began his career selling designs to French fashion houses. Jacques Doucet hired him in 1889, where he stayed until drafted into the military in 1900. A year later, Poiret was hired by the House of Worth to create subtle garments that would offset Worth's own show-stopping ensembles. This venture was short lived, however. Poiret left in 1903 to create his own fashion house, originally at 5 rue Auber. In 1906, Poiret debuted his first corset-less design. This act was among the first that would establish the young designer. Years later, he claimed he invented the corset-less style although both Lucille and Vionnet had also gotten rid of the irksome undergarment. While "freeing women from the corset," Poiret introduced the hobble skirt, which "shackled them at the knee." By 1909, Poiret was designing garments heavily influenced by the Near- and Far-East, Africa, and Antiquity. Poiret was also began collaborating with other artists around this time, producing two pochoir books, Les robes de Paul Poiret with Paul Iribe in 1908 and Les choses de Paul Poiret with Georges Lepape in 1911, as well as what is considered one of the first fashion photoshoots with Edward Steichen. After the Ballet Russe's success in Paris in 1909, Poiret began designing "orientalist" garments including “harem” pantaloons in 1911 and “lampshade” tunics in 1913. In addition to garments, Poiret began expanding into perfumes, home decor, art exhibitions, and even opening up a trade school, École Martine (all in 1911). Poiret left his position in 1914 to serve in the first World War. He returned in 1919 but by that time, his business was on the brink of bankruptcy. During his time away, younger designers were making a name for themselves, including a young Coco Chanel. Compared to these newer designs, Poiret's garments looked out-dated and dowdy. His brand continued to deteriorate throughout the 1920s. The house closed in 1929. Poiret worked odd-jobs and often relied on the kindness of friends and acquaintances for financial help throughout the 1930s and up until his death in 1944.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Two paper and wood promotional fans for the French perfume company Rosine, which was founded by couturier Paul Poiret in 1911. Printed on both sides, one side with abstract botanicals and the other side with the name of the company and a selection of perfumes. Each fan bears a red sticker with the name of a single perfume. The fan would have been scented with that perfume. The fans were part of a series promoting different fragrances. Advertisements, the perfume bottles, and associated products like perfumed cards or fans were all part of Poiret's merchandising artistry.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      Finding aids

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      Existence and location of copies

      Related units of description

      Related descriptions

      Notes area

      Alternative identifier(s)

      Access points

      Subject access points

      Place access points

      Name access points

      Genre access points

      Description control area

      Description identifier

      Institution identifier

      Rules and/or conventions used


      Level of detail

      Dates of creation revision deletion




          Accession area