Roger & Gallet’s tag line is “Distilling Happiness Since 1862” but in fact this is a company whose history goes much deeper than that. I pass a display stand every day, I have bought their soaps as Christmas gifts but it wasn’t until I received a Roger & Gallet Shower Gel as a gift at this August’s Deise Bloggers event that I really decided to delve into the Roger & Gallet world.
Back in 1693 Jean-Paul Feminis, a shopkeeper in Cologne created ‘Aqua Mirabilis’, a distillation of medicinal plants such as rosemary, citrus balm and lemon which he sold in his store. However it wasn’t until 1727, when Jean-Marie Farina, Feminis heir was looking after the company, that the essence was patented by the Cologne Faculty of Medicine & became Jean Marie-Farina Eau de Cologne which is still sold by Roger & Gallet worldwide today. Take a look at the modern designed bottle and you’ll see Jean-Marie Farina’s signature on each one. One of the scents most famous fans was Napolean 1st who had a special bottle commissioned which he could fit inside his boot!
So how did the company come into the hands of Armand Roger and Charles Gallet and become Roger & Gallet in 1862? The men married 2 sisters whose uncle had bought the Jean-Marina Farina house on rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris and along with it the original Eau de Cologne formula. Under the Roger & Gallet stewardship the company has grown to a worldwide name with fragrances, body products, skincare line and at one stage even a make up line.
Roger & Gallet fragrances can be broken down into three main categories; Floral, Oriental and Citrus.
- Rose – a calming floral. Alongside Rose you will find Peony, Amber and Almond Milk.
- Rose Imaginaire – a revitalising floral. A perfect example of how different ingredients can be combined to create different effects while still maintaining a strong central ingredient. Rose here is combined with Wild Strawberry, Jasmine and Patchouli.
- Fleur de Figuier – a sensual floral. This fragrance encompasses both the fruit and flower of the fig. Created by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, the fragrance also contains Mandarin Blossom, Grapefruit and Caraway Seed.
- Gingembre Rouge – an energising floral. Inspiration for this fragrance came from the island of Zanzibar incorporating fresh ginger and ginger flower.
- Fleur d’Osmanthus – an exhilarating floral. Using the apricot-coloured flowers from the Osmanthus shrub, this fragrance also contains Mandarin and Vetiver.
- Bois D’Orange – an invigorating oriental. Inspired by fragrance of Orange Trees in the gardens of Alhambra in Granada, this fragrance also contains Mandarin, Neroli and Amber.
- Gingembre – a stimulating oriental, with Bergamot, Ginger Flowers and Musk.
- Cedrat – a refreshing citrus. Citrus with a difference, this scent contains Grapefruit, Cardamon and White Amber.
- Eau Des Bienfaits – an unlifting citrus. The head note of Blood Orange combines with Ginseng and Kiwi.
- Jean-Maire Farina – the original citrus with lemon, rosemary and sandalwood still going strong.
And of course not forgetting the boys:
- L’Homme – a masculine cypress wood
- L’Homme Sport – a refreshing aromatic
I have a dream list of places I want to see in Paris and the Roger & Gallet La Boutique de Bonheur on 195 rue Saint-Honore opened in 2013 has been added to that list. The name alone is endearing as it means ‘Boutique of Happiness’ and is located on the same street Roger & Gallet boutique which opened its doors in 1932. A most visit for any fragrance fan.
For more information see http://www.roger-gallet.ie