Rouge 540, a legendary perfume and bottle
Baccarat’s history goes hand in hand with the development of the perfume industry in the late 19th century. Between 1897 and 1907, Baccarat’s output of perfume bottles rose from 150 units a day to 4,000. The decor on bottles carrying the Baccarat signature earned the art of perfumery a place in the history of Decorative Arts. Today, Baccarat still works with leading perfumers and well-known couture houses to produce outstanding fragrance bottles that are true objects of desire.
An exhilaratingly pure piece, the Rouge 540 flacon is a monumental crystal spiral weighing 500 grams. The full range of Baccarat’s expertise is called upon to produce the bottle.
The blower “gathers” the crystal by dipping a metal blowpipe into a clay crucible in the furnace. The pipe is rotated continuously so as to counterbalance the effect of gravity; the weight of the molten blob of crystal is evenly distributed as it cools in contact with the air and becomes doughy.
Puffs of air blown into the pipe create a bubble, or “parison”; this sphere is rolled onto marble while the glassblower continues to blow gently into the pipe.
The techniques and precision required to create the Rouge 540 bottle is a testimony to Baccarat's excellence and expertise.
The wheel-engraving technique, used on 96 facets of the bottle and 64 on the stopper, was imported from Bohemia and adopted by Baccarat in 1839.
Raised gilding is obtained by brushing a mixture of gold powder and a binding agent over re fired mat enamel.
The art of baudruchage, a traditional technique used in prestige perfumery, is performed by highly experienced craftswomen referred to as Dames de Table. Applied on Rouge 540, Baudruchage ensures that the bottle is tamper-proof. A fine membrane, the baudruche, is placed around the neck of the bottle, before the gold thread is tied around it, to ensure a perfect fit to the contours of the flacon “shoulders”, and to seal in the fragrance – a sheer concentrate of history, memory and light.
A 24-carat gold powder is added to clear crystal during the melting process and gradually heated to 540°C, to produce the famous Baccarat red. As a tribute to this secret process initiated in 1847, a red crystal pipette is provided with each bottle to place a few precious drops of this legendary perfume behind the ears.