In 1893 Jacques Rouché married Berthe Piver, daughter of Louis Toussaint Piver, and launched his career as a perfumer as he assumed the direction of L.T. Piver, France's oldest perfumery dating back to 1774.
Rouché had an excellent head for business and under his management the business flourished. Rouché's father, Eugene, was a famous mathematician and Rouché himself maintained close ties to the academic world but it was his interest in the arts and culture that keeps his name alive in France today.
As a perfumer, Rouché was well aware of the work of Houbigant's Paul Parquet and his success with Fougére Royale (1882), the first fragrance known to make use of a synthetic aroma material (coumarin). He was also aware of Aimé Guerlain's composition, Jicky, (1889) which, in addition to the use of coumarin, employed two additional synthetics: vanillin and linalool. Thus is was understandable that Rouché should forge an alliance with an acquaintance from the Ecole Polytechnique, Georges Darzens, a chemist of rare talent.
In 1896 Darzen's production of isoamyl salicylate, a new molecule which had a clover-like aroma, let Rouché and Darzens to produce L.T. Piver's Trefle Incarnate (1898) — "trefle incarnate" being a species of clover.
Rouché, ever the patron of the arts, made good use of the fortune he and his wife earned in perfume. Today Rouché is known as the man who saved the opera for between 1919 and 1939, Rouché injected 30 million gold francs into the Paris Opera, of which he served as director from 1913 until 1945. For all this his name was hardly known in France for, being a man who preferred not to be in the spotlight, his contributions to the arts were made without fanfare.
Perfumes By Jacques Rouché
|Le Trèfle Incarnat||L.T. Piver||1898|
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