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The Duchess: Town Harlot or Saint?

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

Who was the Duchess and how did a Champagne based fragrance become to bear this character's name?

From: "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" by: by Bret Harte)

A prostitute in the Old West settlement of Poker Flat is exiled for her immorality. She is forced to make the difficult journey through the mountains to the next town over with a few other unsavory characters.

The Duchess is a young prostitute with a flair for the dramatic. During the exiles' journey, The Duchess is melodramatic and theatrical, traits that annoy her fellow traveling companions.

The Duchess spends her last days holding Piney close. Days later, rescuers find the two dead woman still clutched in an embrace. In death and covered with snow, they now resemble one another so strongly that it’s impossible to tell who is who—or “which was she that had sinned.”

When creating Duchess, the notes of Champagne hinted at her time in a brothel, while the pear notes revealed her delicate sweet side.

Exterior view of the crumbling remains of a cabin in Poker Flat, ca.1900


California Historical Society (contributing entity), California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960 (collection), Title Insurance and Trust, and C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960 (subcollection)

Duchess is available in 10 oz rustic galvanized tin coconut soy candle, 3 oz coconut soy candle and soy wax melts

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