Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Roger & Gallet: A History and Introduction

One of the best parts of my job and being on Twitter is coming into contact again with brands from the past, brands that have made an impact and etched themselves into a little corner of my mind. Roger & Gallet is one such brand. It wasn't until I started travelling to Paris for fashion shows that I came into contact with the brand again. At many of the hotels that I stayed at and some swanky some not so, many provided toiletries from Roger & Gallet but we're jumping ahead of ourselves here. 

The first time I smelt something from Roger & Galette was as a child, playing with the potions and products of my mom's dressing table. Seeing as how she and my dad travelled Europe extensively whilst courting, she also picked up a penchant for refined European toiletries and products. Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Galette was one of them. So it was to great delight and amazement when I saw the toiletries and the very familiar scent brought back countless hours of wonderment as a child. Smell is such a powerful sense and it invokes thoughts and memories that perhaps we might have forgotten. 

Call me a sentimental fool but I love and adore the romantic notion of wearing a scent from an established perfume house with a history. Knowing that you share the same tastes as countless members of royalty, key figures in history and culture surely must mean that you share their same impeccable tastes? It must do.

The History

In 1862, the catalogue of perfume house Jean Marie Farina was bought by Armand Roger and Charles Gallet. I have to bring to your attention that Jean Marie Farina was also court perfumer and in 1806, created portable bottles of his signature eau de cologne for Napoleon and his officers to carry to war! 

In 1875, Roger & Gallet launched Jean Marie Farina Extra-Vieille, meaning Extra Old. This signature scent is now regarded as R&G's most famous scent and for me will forever be associated with Paris.

Throughout the Art Nouveau movement, Roger & Gallet engaged help from some of the major players in Art Nouveau perfume creation. Vera Violette (1895), Pâquerettes (1908), Cigalia (1910), Psyka (1914), Narkiss (1920) and Le Jade (1923) are all considered to be some of the finest examples of Art Nouveau perfume creations.

In 1932, Roger & Gallet moved to Rue du Foubourg Saint Honore where it started collaborating with extraordinary animators to decorate it's shop windows with magnificent creations and thus became a gathering spot for Paris glitterati. The company also hired some of the finest Art Deco artists to decorate it's product packaging.

Throughout the years, Roger & Gallet carried on evolving with the times in terms of packaging and making the products relevant and slowly expanded it's catalogue of fragrances to reflect tastes.

As of 2011, there are currently nine ranges, each range consisting of seven products. Eau de Cologne, Fresh Fragrant Water, Soap Set (containing three 100g soaps), Soap, Liquid Soap, Bath and Shower Gel, and body Lotion. The exception is Bois D'Orange which has a Dry Body and Hair Oil and the L'Homme Collection.

Bois D'Orange: An olfactory journey through the Andalusian gardens of the Alhambra
Ingredients: Mandarin Orange, Basil,Verbena, Orange Blossom, Neroli, Light Amber, Rosewood, Atlas Cedar.

Green Tea: The tender majesty of Mount Fuji at dawn
Ingredients: Yuzu, Mandarin Orange, Grapefruit, Green Tea, White Freesia, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Cedar Wood, Guaiac Wood, Amber.

Rose: The exquisite refinement of a marvellous flower from Bengal
Ingredients: Rose, Mandarin Orange, Peony, Rosebud, Amber, Almond Milk.

Citron: Awakening to sunlight... in a Calabrian garden
Ingredients: Citron, Grapefruit, Mint, Water Fruit, Cardamom, Basil, Ozonic Accord, Cedar, Vetiver, Musk, white Amber.

Ginger: The lush magic of a Rajasthan palace garden
Ingredients: Ginger Flower, Neroli, Bergamot, Ginger Absolute, Ambrette, Benzoin Balm, Musk.

Jean Marie Farina: Mediterranean freshness inspired by Jean Marie Farina's original garden in Santa Maria Megiorre
Ingredients: Lemon, Bergamot, Neroli, Rosemary, Petitgrain, Myrtle, Cedar Wood, Sandalwood.

Amande Persane: A journey in the enchanted Garden of Paradise of Ispahan
Ingredients: Bergamot, Mandarin Orange, Bitter Almond, Iris, Tonka Bean, Atlas Cedar.

Fleur D'Osmanthus: The serene picture of a miniature Eden, tucked away in the gulf of the Guilin Chinese valley
Ingredients: Orange Bark, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Osmanthus, Neroli, Tonka, Benzoin, Sandalwood.
L'Homme: Inspired by the masters of traditional barbering
Ingredients (L'Homme): Lemon, Spearmint, Ylang Ylang, Spices, Vetyver, Patchouli, Amber.
Ingredients (L'Homme Sport): Grapefruit, Tea, Pink Peppercorn, Cardamom, Vetyver, Cedar, Amber.

So you see, a great heritage and a great range, each steeped in mystery, romance and exoticism. I don't know about you but I for one love knowing that I'm wearing something special shared by the great personalities in history. Now wouldn't you just love that too? 


  1. @Jamilla Camel: Isn't it gorgeous? I can't help myself when it comes to such fragrances. Everything about the heritage etc all gets me quite excited! Thanks for making time to comment! xx