2018-11-02 0 By alain


In 1695 Giovanni Paolo Feminis (Jean-Paul Feminis), an Italian descent grocer-druggist had formulated aqua mirabilis, also known as “Eau Admirable” and “Aqua de Regina,” who said he got the recipe from an Oriental monk. Although some accounts mention that the fragrance was already known to the Italian, since the XIVth century, the formula was prepared at the convent of Santa Maria Novellia in Florence of whom Giovanni was a patron of the church located there and must have learned of or experimented to recreate the formula.

In 1725, he then moved to Cologne, Germany and the Aqua Coloniensis, “Eau de Cologne” as it was named, became very successful all over Europe. In 1760, it was introduced to France. Madame Du Barry introduced it to the French court as a toilet perfume. Jean-Paul was succeeded by three nephews, the Farina brothers. It was promoted as medicinal and was drunk as a tonic well as worn as a fragrance.

When ingested it was supposed to cure nausea, vomiting, difficult digestion and dyspepsia; ulcer and gastric hyperacidity; hepatic insufficiencies; fever; rheumatisms; scurvy; spasms, colics and intestinal infections; even against intestinal parasites … and impotence. Essential oils that compose it are effectively powerful recognized antiseptics.

When applied to the body it was supposed to work as an antiseptic, healing and anti-pruriginous remedy; as muscular stimulant and venous tonic; against insects bites and disagreeable effects of the perspiration. Equally, as antiseptic of respiratory tracts by inhalation of essential oils volatilized at the contact of the skin. The “Eau de Cologne” was then, much more than a simple perfume, the basic component of a personal pharmacy.

In 1806 a descendant, Johann Maria Farina (Jean-Marie Farina) inherits formula and opened the Jean Marie Farina perfumery in rue du Faubourg-St-Honore, Paris. The fragrance was now being promoted as a personal fragrance rather than a medicinal tonic.

Roger & Gallet has an impressive roster of former fans, including Napoleon and Queen Victoria. The notoriously vain emperor commissioned a tall, slender bottle of the Jean Marie Farina scent—still a company best-seller—to slip inside his boots during battle.

In 1840 sells business to Leonce Collas of Goet et Rifflard, who in 1862 transfers it to his two cousins, Armand Roger and Charles Gallet.

Changed company name to Roger et Gallet. Always innovative, Roger & Gallet invented a soap-making technique called the cauldron method, which ensures soaps are perfumed all the way through. With this, it became a brand known for all-around exceptional quality.
Back in the 1930s, the company’s designers worked with the best Art Deco artists of the day to create glamorous packaging. Today’s bottles and wrappers stay true to the original style but have a more streamlined, contemporary look.
The company became part of Sanofi Beauté in 1975. Products were then sold as ‘Roger & Gallet’.