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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 10:47 GMT
Marie-Antoinette perfume revived
Prestige bottle of M.A. Sillage de la Reine perfume (pic: Chateau de Versailles)
The "royal" perfume comes with an aristocratic price tag
The palace of Versailles is set to launch a perfume based on the fragrance once used by Marie-Antoinette.

The perfume, which is based on the original composition unearthed by a historian, will be sold only to order.

A 25ml bottle of M.A. Sillage de la Reine perfume will sell for 350 euros (236; $463), the palace says.

A limited prestige version of 10 25cl crystal bottles will sell for 8,000 euros each. Proceeds will be used to buy a travel chest she once owned.

Austrian-born Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793) was married to King Louis XVI of France and had a reputation for lavish tastes. She was executed by guillotine at the height of the French Revolution.

She has come back into fashion of late following a recent biography by the UK's Lady Antonia Fraser and the ensuing film directed by Sofia Coppola released this summer.

Visitors have been flocking to Trianon, Marie-Antoinette's retreat in Versailles, which was reopened this summer and is now among the palace's star attractions.

Royal scent

Portrait of Marie-Antoinette (pic: Chateau de Versailles)
Marie-Antoinette was known for her extravagant tastes

Historian Elizabeth de Feydeau discovered the authentic formulas used by the former queen's perfumer Jean-Louis Fargeon.

The scent - to be launched on Thursday - was developed by French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, who combined the ingredients after detailed research.

The perfume is said to adhere to the 18th-Century custom of combining "100% natural primary materials" and is "intensely floral".

It combines various scents including rose, iris, jasmine, orange blossom and sandalwood.


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