Several rival manufacturers reworked Pernod’s ubiquitous design to feature their own products. The most successful of these spin-offs was this charming image designed by the Mourgue brothers for Absinthe Bourgeois, a mid-sized Pontarlier producer.
The absinthe loving black cat became the symbol of the company, and was produced in several carton and poster formats, and also as a series of postcards. This carton, still in it’s original art nouveau style frame, shows what is believed to the earliest version of the design.
The Absinthe Bourgeois label assured consumers not only that it was made entirely from herbal matter (ie, without artificial colouring), but also that it was “sans badiane” – made with green anise only, not star anise.

Absinthe Cats: Un Bon Pernod!

A charming print, one of three made from the original glass negative before it was accidentally destroyed. This photograph was likely intended for a never-released publicity carton, and was intended to mimic the famous Absinthe Bourgeois “Chat Noir” (which in turn was based on Charles Maire’s famous still life for Pernod Fils, with it’s bottle, carafe, glass and folded Pontarlier newspaper).

“L’Heure de l’absinthe”