Rochas

France France Pronunciation
They must have been a handsome couple, Marcel, called the 'Rudolph Valentino of couture fashion' for his attractive looks, and the petite ballet dancer Hélène. And during the... Read more
Filter & Sort
Men Women Unisex
1 - 20 of 102
1 - 20 of 102

Interesting Facts

They must have been a handsome couple, Marcel, called the 'Rudolph Valentino of couture fashion' for his attractive looks, and the petite ballet dancer Hélène. And during the Second World War there was no time to lose: Marcel, 25 years his senior, married his seventeen-year-old bride and commissioned a fragrance as a wedding gift. He named the perfume "Femme" and it was to go down in history as the first perfume with a plum as the fragrance note.

Marcel Rochas' life began in a very modest way, after all he was a trained lawyer. However, he couldn't find a dress he liked for his first fiancée, so he took matters into his own hands and opened his first fashion store in Paris in 1925 at the age of just 23.
His personal style was, on the one hand, simple, comfortable cuts that enjoyed great popularity among active young women, and on the other hand, he attached great importance to a feminine elegance, as found in his wasp-waist corset and mermaid robes.
This fashion was successful. Marcel Rochas quickly became a darling of the Paris fashion scene and he was soon able to count various stars of the film industry such as Carole Lombard and Marlene Dietrich among his customers.

Marcel Rochas began with perfumes in 1936, launching three fragrances that year, and their success immediately led him to invest in a large laboratory, knowing that in the long run it would be more profitable to sell perfumes than clothes. After landing further sales hits with the aforementioned "Femme" and the men's fragrance line "Moustache," Marcel Rochas drew the consequences and closed his fashion house in 1953 in order to devote himself completely to the development of fragrances. However, his work did not last long: only two years later, Marcel Rochas died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53.

At just 28 years of age, Hélène was suddenly a widow, single mother of two adolescent children and heiress to her husband's company. But she was not deterred, but kept the reins in her hands and within a few years managed to increase the turnover of the company tenfold, thus becoming the first woman in France to head a major company.

Hèlène seemingly playfully managed the balancing act between established businesswoman, under whose leadership other successful perfumes such as "Madame Rochas" and "Eau de Rochas" were launched, and society lady, admired for her beauty and unfailing elegance, who moved effortlessly in the international jet set.

Even when the company passed into other hands - to Roussel-Uclaf in the 70s, to Wella AG in the 80s and later to Procter & Gamble - she continued to work as a consultant at 'Rochas'. Only a few years before her death in 2011, Hélène Rochas withdrew from the public eye.

For some years now, couture has again been produced under the name 'Rochas'. And if in the early days it was Marcel Rochas' fashion that helped him sell his perfumes, this time it is the good reputation of those very perfumes that gives today's customers a taste of the high-quality couture of 'Rochas'.
Research and text by BirdeeBirdee