Sometimes, when we ask ourselves about the success of certain initiatives and projects, we usually stay in first place with the economic or strategic elements. And while important, history (and our taste for vintage) has also shown us that there are other equally crucial factors, such as the artistic sensibility of its representatives . It happens with Myrurgia , the prestigious perfumery firm created by Esteve Monegal , that of successful business passed, thanks to the aesthetic concerns of its founder, to one of the most relevant national perfume industries of the twentieth century.
The origin of Myrurgia
The story of Myrurgia begins in 1916 when Esteve Monegal , a Catalan sculptor and intellectual, turns his father’s modest drugstore into a company influenced by the great artistic currents of the time: Noucentisme, Oriental subtleties, art deco, and other elements of Vanguard. That is why, during the 1920s and 1930s, Myrurgia was the leading figure in design and advertising , with a large group of collaborators, including graphic designer Eduard Jener .To him we owe him the most emblematic creations of the firm, such as the artistic presentations of Polvos Morisca, Orgia, Maja, Flor de Blazon, Suspiros de Granada and Clavel de España among others.Another important draftsman linked to Myrurgia was Alfred Opisso Cardona.
The relationship of Myrurgia with the arts also extended to architecture, hence, in 1926, Antoni Puig Gairal elaborated the plans of the elegant headquarters of the firm in Barcelona.
The exoticism of the early twentieth century
Art Deco, a style that replaced the floreal style of Art Nouveau, encompassed and coexisted with other aesthetics in the first decades of the twentieth century, adapting perfectly and transferring that taste for the exoticism of the end of the century.
A sample of this exoticism is found in the perfumes of Myrurgia, and specifically, the label on the back of the case of Maderas de Oriente, where it says: “Note in the packaging the residues that note the unique elaboration of this perfume . In each bottle, and under kabbalistic invocations, they have been infused into spirit of flowers, juicy branches of shrubs of the Asian forests, splintered in a growing quarter.”
Through this mystique, Myrurgia made available to the general public, in addition to its sensual aromas, a little jewel in each new perfume . A small and concentrated exotic world present in the toilets of many of our mothers and grandmothers.
A good part of Myrurgia jars were designed by Monegal himself and Eduard Jener, but there were also exceptional collaborations, such as the creations of Julien Viard , linked to the best French firms.
The importance of etiquette
At this time perfumes were characterized by their dark color and density, and despite its small format, the label played a key role in the integration of the name of the perfume.Often that name was derived from a flower (Cyclamen, Gardenia, Rosa, Mimosa, Lilac), transmitting an emotional or romantic content (Your fence, Bésame, Orgia), appealing to exotic and sensual worlds (Oriental Woods, Hindustan, Baghdad), or seeking inspiration from Spanish traditions (Maja, Suspiros de Granada, Goyesca, Embrujo de Sevilla).
Myrurgia perfumes have always been surrounded by an aura of sophistication and are usually considered luxury objects. The idea of prestige and timelessness was evoked, above all, thanks to the use of the golden color in the labels and the inclusion of nacre in the design.
Unlike other companies in the business that took their family names (Guerlain, Parera, Gal), Esteve Monegal started the business by choosing a name with classic reminiscences: Myrurgia, formed by the Greek roots “essence” and “work.”
In this first period, his most successful perfumes were Woods of the Orient, Fantasio, Carnation of Spain, sighs of Granada, promise and Enchantment of Seville.