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Rochas

Rochas perfumes began life as a fashion house founded by Marcel Rochas in 1925, and the fashion part of the business ended in 1955 after his death.  The perfume portion of the business continued on, first under his wife's control until 1974, and then she returned as creative direction for Rochas perfumes during the 1980s, eventually leaving again.

The fashion side of Rochas was revived in the 1990s, showed some very strong signs of life under Olivier Theyskens from 2003 forward, but the now-owner of Rochas, Proctor & Gamble, closed the fashion business again until it was revived one more time under Marco Zanini. Whew!

But let's get to the perfumes. The most famous perfume made for Rochas, without any doubt, was Rochas Femme.  Created in 1944 by Edmond Roudnitska, Marcel Rochas wanted it to be made as a gift for his much younger than him wife - the woman he met at Paul Poiret's shop and fell in love with instantly.  The original Femme was a sultry number, and the later version done by Oliver Cresp subbed in cumin for materials they could no longer use.  Both versions have a huge fan base, depending on how you feel about cumin, which is basically asking how you feel about armpits.  In a good way.  Marcel Rochas said this about perfume - "You should breathe a woman in before you've even seen her."  Rochas Femme provides exactly that.

Other fragrances that are hailed on most "masterpiece" lists are Rochas Madame Rochas - created by Marcel's widow, Helene Rochas with legendary perfumer Guy Robert.  She wanted a perfume that wasn't quite as challenging to wear.

Rochas Tocade was created in the 1994 by another perfumer legend, Maurice Roucel, and it is a somewhat gourmand floriental.

Rochas contributed much to perfume history, creating some of the best perfumes in history.