Lightyears Collection
Marcel Rochas

Couturier Marcel Rochas was born in Paris in 1902 and is said to have been inspired by Jean Cocteau, Christian Berard and Paul Poiret. In 1925 he opened his own couture house; then in 1931, moved to his more famous Paris address, 12 avenue de Matignon.

Rochas became as well known in Hollywood as he was in Paris and his clientele included the likes of Carol Lombard, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Katherine Hepburn, Jean Harlow, and, above all, Mae West who, it is said, inspired Rochas's introduction of the "Waspie" — the strapless bra-girdle, known in French as the guépiére, which pinched the waist and emphasized the bust. Rochas was said to favor hourglass figures.

In 1936 Rochas began to offer exclusive fragrances to his salon clients, perfumes not available elsewhere. These were discontinued at the onset of World War Two.

The Liberation brought change to the Rochas business. Change came in the form of Albert Gosset, young son of the owners of Gosset Champagne. Rather than pursue the family business, Gosset opted for perfume. His association with Rochas gave birth to Parfums Rochas, S.A., in 1945.

Marcel Rochas died in 1955. His 28-year-old wife and long time creative muse, Hélenè Rochas, became president of the company. During the decade of the 1960's, Parfums Rochas became one of the major French perfume marketers but the couture business was gone.

In 1987 the company was sold to Wella, which tried to revive the couture business by hiring first Peter O'Brien and later Olivier Theyskins.

But Wella itself was acquired by Proctor & Gamble in 2003 and in 2006 P&G closed the couture business.

In 2008 Proctor & Gamble appointed Jean Michel Duriez in house-perfumer for Rochas. Duriez, who had trained under Jean Kerleo, was already in-house perfumer for Jean Patou, also owned by Proctor & Gamble. It remains to be seen whether P&G will keep the brand alive.

Perfumes by Marcel Rochas and Parfums Rochas

Air Jeune (1936)unknownSold only to salon clients.
Audace (1936)unknownSold only to salon clients.
Avenue Matignon (1936)unknownSold only to salon clients.
Femme (1945)Edmond RoudnitskaWhile not a huge commercial success, Roudnitska's Femme is considered one of the great works of the perfumer's art. (Roudnitska had been working on the formula for year before being asked by Rochas and Gossed for a perfume.)
Mousseline (1948)Edmond Roudnitska 
Eau de Verveine (1948)Edmond RoudnitskaSold only to salon clients.
Moustache (1948)Edmond Roudnitska Sold only to salon clients.
Mouche (1949)Edmond Roudnitska 
La Rose de Rochas (1949)Edmond Roudnitska 
Madame Rochas (1960)Guy Robert 
Monsieur Rochas (1969)Guy Robert 
Eau de Rochas (1970)  
Audace (1971)unknown 
Mystere de Rochas (1978)unknown 
Macassar (1980)unknown 
Lumiere (1984)unknown 
Byzance (1987)Nicholas Mamounas 
Globe (1991)unknown 
Eau de Rochas pour Homme (1993)unknown 
Tocade (1994)Maurice Roucel 
Byzantine (1995)unknown 
Fleur d'Eau (1996)unknown 
Eau de Fan (1996)unknown 
Tocadilly (1997)unknown 
Alchimie (1998)Jacque Cavallier 
Rochas Man (1999)Daniela Candio 
Aquaman (2001)unknown 
Aquawoman (2002)Michel Almieras 
Absolu (2002)unknown 
Ropchas Lui (2003)unknown 
Poupee (2004)unknown 
Lui (2004)unknown 

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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.