Roger & Gallet, established in Paris 1862, is one of France’s oldest perfume houses renowned for cultivating the art of fine fragrance.
However, their remarkable heritage truly began in 1693 when Italian Gian Paolo Feminis formulated the Aqua Mirabillis, a distillation of medicinal plants purported to have healing properties. Fast-forward a hundred years or so to 1806; Jean-Marie Farina, the heir to the secret Aqua Miribillis apothecary formula creates ‘Eau de Cologne’ and opens a perfume house on the iconic rue Saint-Honore in Paris, eventually supplying the great courts of Europe.
In 1862 the heirs to Jean-Marie Farina, Armand Roger and Charles Gallet, formed a partnership that sealed the company’s future, forging the way in modernising the perfume industry with olfactive innovations that are as beloved today as they were at their birth.
This chic French Pharmacy darling with its beautiful, triple-milled and cauldron crafted perfumed soaps and exceptional fragrances are often found gracing the shelves of stylish pharmacies throughout France, favoured for centuries due to their breathtaking aromas, inspiring legacy and natural ingredients.
Jean Marie Farina
Jean-Marie Farina Eau de Cologne is a landmark scent from Roger & Gallet (their very first) with a truly esteemed history. It was created in 1806 by Jean-Marie Farina, heir to the illustrious Aqua Mirabillis formula and was inspired by the Italian freshness of his childhood garden in Santa Maria Maggiore nestled alongside the limpid waters of the Mediterranean ocean, where lemon and orange trees burst with sunshine and a serene atmosphere prevails.
Bright zestiness exudes from every drop of this unisex cologne thanks to the perfectly balanced top notes of lemon and bergamot which work in synergy to cleanse your senses. The heart of neroli and pettigrain provide a strong warmth that’s spiked with aromatic rosemary, alluding to sun-kissed days spent in an idyllic Italian garden. Once the initial flash of citrus has settled, the woody balsamic notes come out to play to create a pleasing aroma with an iron hold. This fragrance will definitely carry you for the day; it’s the kind of scent that people will stop you in the street to enquire about as it’s so deliciously crisp.
Fun Fact: Eau de Cologne was a firm favourite of Napoleon I! It’s reported that this was the only fragrance he would deign to wear, liberally slathering himself daily with its strong, citrusy notes. He was such a fan that he had standing-order with his perfumer to deliver a staggering 50 bottles a month!
Roger & Gallet have created a full line of indulgent products infused with the iconic Jean-Marie Farina cologne, including traditionally milled soaps, luxurious body washes and fragrant liquid soaps – so that you’ll never need to be without this evocative cologne.
Roger & Gallet Bois d’Orange Eau Fraiche is a thrilling bouquet inspired by the luxurious garden at the Generallife Palace, located in the mysterious Alhambra Fortress. This exquisite Andalusian garden is consistently bathed in hazy golden sunshine and adorned with grand pavilions, sculptured fountains and flowerbeds full of exotic flowers. Bois d’Orange pays homage to this inspiring relic by inviting you on an olfactory journey through the historical garden, teaming with fragrant orange blossom, citrus fruits and refreshing pools of water.
To me, Bois d’Orange is the scent of summer, opening with an invigorating explosion of citrus fruits. Yet, this isn’t a sharp citrus – it has gentleness to it. In time these citrus notes softly diffuse to allow the sensual heart of orange blossom to emerge, lending this Eau Fraiche an elegant, feminine quality. A base of rich, woody-amber accords impart a lasting impression that dallied on my skin for the full run.
An extra dose of opulence worthy of Alhambra has been accomplished with an infusion of gold specks in the Bois d’Orange Eau Sublime Eau Fraiche, which is released in a shimmering rain to beautify skin. The bottle is as brilliant as the juice within, subtly embossed with striking artistic arabesques in a raised geometric pattern and a reassuringly weighty feel.
The sublime scent of Bois d’Orange has also been added to various body products, including soaps, shower creams and moisturisers. However the star of the show here is the multi-purpose Bois d’Orange Dry Oil, perfect for adding radiance to skin and shine to hair.
Fleur d’Osmanthus is one of the latest fragrance creations from perfumery masterminds Roger & Gallet. The light scent is as delicate as a hummingbird in flight, created by renowned perfumer Nathalie Lorson (of Perles de Lalique/Dolce & Gabbana Sicily fame) to transport you through scent to a tranquil Oriental Garden of Eden. This classically feminine cologne has been inspired by the extraordinarily rare and mysterious Osmanthus flower, sweetly nicknamed ‘the flower of happiness’ as its heady fragrance has renowned stress-reducing and joy-inducing properties. This beautiful flower grows serenely in the gulf of the legendary Guilin Chinese valley, where it’s gently coaxed into bloom with an extraordinary two year dance.
To my nose this scent is a harmonious swirl of sweet spring flowers, contrasted brilliantly with the bright, yet subtle nuances of citrus. Once the opening cascade of delicately soft floral notes with their whisper of happy Osmanthus simmer down, and the heart of zesty grapefruit and mouth-watering mandarin have added another dimension, the warmth is found in the base notes where the vanilla-tinged benzoin, toasted almonds and heat-infused musk dominate. Ultimately, it’s a very fresh, gauzy and eminently wearable fragrance that would complement a woman of any age; especially those who’re fond of citrusy-florals.
As well as this hard-to-beat Eau de Fraiche, Fleur d’Osmanthus is also available in various perfumed skincare treats, including soaps, oils and creams. The soaps in particular are beautifully packaged in thick pleated paper with a luxe feel – the perfect gift!
Fleur de Figuier
Fleur de Figuier Eau Fraiche is a delightfully feminine fragrance encompassing the fruit and the flower of the ancient fig. It has been crafted by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, whose nose has brought us a range of classics including Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Le Male, Elie Saab’s Le Parfum and Narciso Rodriquez For Her. This dainty cologne was conceived during a trip to the Mediterranean garden of Esterel, an idyll nestled between the ocean and the sleepy French region of Provence. With a simple sniff of this soft-floral posy you are transported to the sun-soaked gardens of Esterel, carpeted with soft verdant grass with wild-grown flowers, primordial trees bursting with lush fig fruits and cool, crystal blue streams teeming with beautiful, blue-tailed dragonflies.
This complex Eau Fraiche fragrance opens with the crisp green aroma of fig in a full-on fruity twang. This gently sweetens to reveal bold notes of mandarin, leaving a fresh sunshiny-citrus tang in its wake. With another inhale the creamy notes of milk and warm Cedarwood envelop you like a second skin, evocative of a rousing sunset stroll across the lawns of Esterel hand-in-hand with your beau. Fleur de Figuier is a scent suitable for every woman, as magnificently intense as a glass of ice cold water on heavy, hot day.
The enchantingly fresh scent of Fleur d’Figuier is available as part of an entire body care ritual including a shower cream, triple-milled, cauldron-cooked soap and rich lotions, all crafted with as much care and thought as the sophisticated eau fraiche. The real highlight though is the new Huile Gourmande, a sumptuous oil in an easy-to-apply spray bottle. This silky treat will nourish and transform even the driest of skins.
L’Homme is a powerful, woody chypre Eau de Toilette that is endlessly masculine and resoundingly timeless. After a light spritz I could immediately detect nuances of lavender with a hint of mint. Eventually, a dose of clove emerges to provide the warmth that’s typical to a men’s fragrance, whilst balmy notes of sandalwood and vetiver finish the gauntlet to provide a cologne that truly lingers. A full line of male-grooming products have been crafted with the L’Homme scent, including a truly outstanding after shave balm.
L’Homme Sport is a refreshing treat in comparison to the original L’Homme, bursting with energising grapefruit that remains strong even after the first initial flash on your skin. Eventually this invigorating freshness settles down and soft notes of tea emerge, opening the door for a delectably woody alchemy scored with hued amber for a scent that’s an ideal companion for a modern gentleman.
Concocted to evoke a memory of time spend amongst the splendour of the Bengali Palace Gardens, Roger & Gallet Rose Eau Fraiche is an ethereal refinement of silky petals as delectably soft as a caress with a silk sari. With the first inhale of this magical aroma my nose tingles with the sweetness of rose, with a second the nuances of honeyed amber emerge, tinged with creaky almond milk to create a fragrance as rich in warmth and mystery as India.
The Rose Imaginaire is Roger & Gallet’s vision of the perfect rose in scent; a bright and silky composition to nature’s oasis. To my nose this heady floral fragrance opens with sensual rose overtones spiked with a sudden hit of sweet strawberry and oriental jasmine, that’s quickly bequeathed to the warm, woody base notes. A voluptuous perfume, ideal for mature ladies or fans of rich floral fragrances.
Imagine the scents and sensations of basking in the sun-soaked brilliance of a Calabrian garden and you’ll have fashioned Roger & Gallet’s Citron, an archetypal eau that plunges your senses into an intoxicating pool of vitality. With every breath the sublimely refreshing citrus notes of cedrat and grapefruit are released, dashed with the politely sizzling nuances of mint, basil and cardamom. Woody blends have the final word, guaranteeing that this unisex cologne leaves a revitalising impression on both my skin and mind.
Eau de Bienfaits
Roger & Gallet Eau de Bienfaits, a worthy heir to the Jean-Marie Farina Eau de Cologne. This unique fragrant body-mist is an award-winning sonnet to the original that will grasp your hand firmly and lead you on a sensorial journey through the heart of a fertile Italian garden, ripe with citrus fruits and cuddled alongside the languid waters of the Med. This reviving eau has been injected with a dose of blood orange which really ups the freshness ante and packed full of zesty, skin-softening essential oils that will saturate your skin with fragrance and hydration.
Gingembre Rouge is a mysterious, spicy fragrance, born after a trip to Zanzibar and crafted by Alberto Morillas and Amandine Clerc-Marie. The love story of this vibrant scent begins with a colourful explosion of ginger, escalating to a sweet embrace of flora and striking lychee, peaking with a burst of sparkling pomegranate seeds. To my note, this is the perfect, mesmerising summer scent.
Evoke the magic of a Rajasthani Palace Garden with Roger & Gallet’s luxuriant Gingembre. The eau de fraiche begins with a crescendo of ginger, merged with a fruity-zesty exuberance of bergamot. In the dry down, precious woods and florals are celebrated, undoubtedly evocative of the scent, sound and sensation of the majestic Maharajah’s courts.
So, there we have it! A grand tour across the somewhat garden-centric obsessed world of Roger & Gallet. Let us know what fragrance collection appeals to you the most? After sampling all of these marvellous eaus, I can confidently confirm that my heart has been stolen by Fleur d’Figuier. What’s your favourite?