Ernest Beaux

Last updated
Ernest Beaux (1881-1961) Ernest Beaux.jpg
Ernest Beaux (1881–1961)

Ernest Beaux (7 December [ O.S. 25 November] 1881 [1] – 9 June 1961) was a Russian-born French perfumer who is best known for creating Chanel No. 5, which is perhaps the world's most famous perfume.

Contents

Family background

Born in Moscow, Ernest Beaux was the son of Edouard Hyppolite Beaux [2] (1835–1899) and Augustine Wilgemina Misfeld [3] (1843–1906), second wife of Edouard Hyppolite Beaux (1835–1899), who was originally from Lille, France. Ernest Beaux's grandmother, Jeanne-Cléophée Beaux [4] (1810–1882), had come to Russia at the beginning of the 1840s. Édouard-Hyppolyte was her son with Jean Joseph Messinger [5] (1810–1848).

Edouard Francois Beaux [6] (1862–?), Ernest Beaux's half-brother by his father's first wife, Adelaide Fiurth (1842–1879), began as a clerk with the Moscow trading house of Muir and Mirrielees. He joined A. Rallet & Co., ultimately becoming a member of the board and Deputy Administrator. [7] [8]

Career

Ernest Beaux [9] was born in Moscow, Russia, the brother of Edouard Beaux, who worked for Alphonse Rallet & Co. of Moscow, then the foremost Russian perfume house and purveyor to the Imperial courts. In 1898, A. Rallet and Company, with approximately 1500 employees and 675 products, was sold to the French perfume house Chiris of La Bocca.

Ernest completed his primary education that same year, and from 1898–1900 apprenticed as laboratory technician in the soap works of Rallet. After his obligatory two years of military service in France, he returned to Moscow in 1902, where he started his perfumery training at Rallet under the guidance of their technical director, A. Lemercier. He finished his perfumery education in 1907, earned a promotion to senior perfumer, and was elected to the board of directors. [10]

In 1912 Russia celebrated the centennial of the Battle of Borodino, the turning point in Napoleon's Russian ambitions. For this celebration Ernest Beaux created the fragrance "Bouquet de Napoleon," a floral Eau de Cologne, for Rallet. It proved to be a major commercial success. [11]

The following year, 1913, marked the tercentenary of the founding of the Romanov dynasty. To follow up on his "Bouquet de Napoleon" success, Ernest Beaux created a now-lost fragrance, the "Bouquet de Catherine", honoring Catherine the Great. This fragrance is not to be confused with a fragrance from Brocard [ permanent dead link ], Rallet's chief competitor in Russia called "The Empress's Favorite Bouquet", which later evolved into the Soviet version, "Red Moscow." [11] [12]

Bouquet de Catherine was not a marketing success, perhaps due to Catherine the Great's German heritage at a time of rising tensions between Russia and Germany which would lead, in 1914, to World War I. While born and raised in Russia, Ernest Beaux's French heritage brought him into the French army. While it was generally expected that this war would last no more than a few months, he was not released from military service until 1919, having by this time seen service in the infantry fighting against Germany and then as an intelligence officer and interrogator at an Allied prison camp at the Kola Peninsula at the Murmansk Oblast during the Russian Civil War.

While serving in the French military, Ernest Beaux's perfumer colleagues at Rallet fled during Russia's October Revolution to La Bocca, France, to continue working with Chiris. [13] In 1918 he was working as a counter-intelligence officer on the Anglo/French concentration camp of Mudyug island, interrogating Bolsheviks captured by the White Russian and Allied armies. [14] In 1919 Ernest Beaux, released now from the army, settled in Paris but continued to have a relationship with the former Rallet employees at La Boca.

Chanel No. 5 CHANEL No5 parfum.jpg
Chanel No. 5

In 1912, Ernest Beaux married Iraïde de Schoenaich [15] (1881–1961), who gave birth to their son, Edouard [16] (1913–1993), the following year. During the Russian Civil War, Iraïde escaped from Russia through Finland with her infant son. They reached France by sea following a dangerous two-month-long voyage, during which time Iraïde fell deeply in love with another man. Ernest divorced her and took custody of their son, while Iraïde moved to Nice to work with her lover. Ernest later married Yvonne Girodon [17] (1893–1980), with whom he had a daughter, Madeleine. [18] [19]

Coco Chanel and the N°5

At that time, Joseph Robert was the chief perfumer at Chiris. With little prospect of being promoted under him, Ernest Beaux tried to use his contacts to the emigrated Russian nobility to get new projects. In 1920, with the help of the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia (1891–1941), a companion of Coco Chanel (1883–1971), he arranged a meeting in Cannes late in the summer of 1920, where he presented his current and former works to Mlle. Chanel. Chanel chose the "No. 5" as a Christmas present for her best clients. When Ernest Beaux asked her how she wanted to name that scent, she replied: "I always launch my collection on the 5th day of the 5th months, so the number 5 seems to bring me luck – therefore, I will name it 'Nº 5'". [20] [21]

Initially only 100 flacons of Chanel Nº 5 were produced, which she gave away on Christmas 1921 for free to her best clients. [22] However, soon the demand was such that she decided to launch the perfume officially for sale in her shops in 1922. That year she also launched a second fragrance from the two numbered series of bottles that Beaux had presented her, which were numbered one through five, and twenty through twenty-four: Chanel Nº 22, the bottle no. 22 from the second series. However, since this didn't do as well as Nº 5, it was withdrawn and only relaunched in 1926.

Ernest Beaux left Chiris in 1922 to head a sales agency for his friend Eugene Charabot in Paris. However, Chanel Nº 5 did so well that Bader and Wertheimer, owners of Galeries Lafayette, bought the rights to it from Coco Chanel on April 4, 1924, and founded Parfums Chanel, for which they hired Ernest Beaux as chief perfumer. In his new function Ernest Beaux created many famous perfumes until he retired in 1954; his successor as chief perfumer of Perfumes Chanel was Henri Robert.

Death and funeral

Ernest Beaux died in his Paris apartment on 9 June 1961, aged 79. The church in which his funeral was held was completely decorated in roses.

Creating perfumes and later controversies

"Pepper and salt don't taste pleasantly when taken alone, but they enhance the taste of a dish," Beaux said in a 1953 interview with Time. The article continued: "Beaux gives each essence the nose test because some scents will last after a week of exposure, while others, for some unknown reason, will last only a few hours. When he is creating a new perfume he does no sniffing, simply jots down a formula, claims he knows exactly what the final result will smell like. Says Beaux: 'It is like writing music. Each component has a definite tonal value ... I can compose a waltz or a funeral march.'" [22] At the time of the interview, Beaux was not working on any new perfumes, according to the head of the Chanel fragrance house, Pierre Wertheimer.

Another quote from Ernest Beaux highlights the importance of synthetic perfumery raw materials: "The future of perfumery is in the hands of chemists... We'll have to rely on the chemists to find new chemicals if we are to make new and original accords." [23]

Since Coco Chanel's breakthrough as couturier only took place in 1925 with her design of the little black dress, she felt taken advantage of by Wertheimer, and, after an attempt in World War II to use Nazi influence to seize control of the company from Jewish Wertheimer, fought against her own perfumes in creating competitive fragrances under her own name, for instance "Mademoiselle Chanel Nº 1" (1946), sold exclusively in her own shops. In France this was prohibited by judicial action for counterfeiting, but Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and Neiman Marcus in Texas kept distributing, and, when customers reacted with puzzlement, Wertheimer gave in and raised Coco Chanel's share in the company. In 1947, Wertheimer and Chanel made peace, and when Chanel wanted to resurrect her couture house, he even backed her financially. [24] "Although she made a fortune on the perfume, throughout her lifetime she was convinced that the deal had been heavily weighted in favor of the perfumer and that she had been cheated out of a huge sum of money." [25]

His former employer Chiris was not happy to see Beaux leave with the formula to Perfumes Chanel, and thus asked Vincent Roubert, who had replaced Beaux at Chiris, to make in 1926 his own adaptation of the Bouquet de Catherine, which actually was going back even to Rallet Perfumes. The result was L' Aimant (Coty, 1926), which initially indeed threatened the success of Chanel Nº 5. L' Aimant was a near copy of Nº 5, but Perfumes Chanel avenged this by hiring Jean Helleu, the designer of the first L' Aimant bottle, and in copying his design for the flacon of Chanel Nº 5. [24]

Selected works

Many of Ernest Beaux’s perfumes are preserved in their original formulation at the Osmothèque in Versailles, where they may be accessed by the public. [26]

Related Research Articles

Grasse Subrefecture of Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Grasse is the sole subprefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region on the French Riviera. In 2017, the commune had a population of 50,396.

Perfume Mixture of fragrant substances, usually in liquid form, used to give agreeable scent to objects, air or living creatures

Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives and solvents, usually in liquid form, used to give the human body, animals, food, objects, and living-spaces an agreeable scent.

François Coty French perfumer, businessman, newspaper publisher, politician and patron of the arts

François Coty was a French perfumer, businessman, newspaper publisher, politician and patron of the arts. During World War I, he became one of the wealthiest men in France. He gained control in 1922 of daily newspaper Le Figaro. To check the growth of French socialism and Communism, he founded two other daily papers in 1928. In later years his wealth was much reduced. The company he founded in 1904 is now Coty, Inc., based in New York City.

Chanel is a French fashion house that focuses on women's high fashion and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods and accessories. The company is owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of the couturière Coco Chanel. In her youth, Gabrielle Chanel gained the nickname "Coco" from her time as a chanteuse. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel catered to women's taste for elegance in dress, with blouses, suits, trousers, dresses, and jewellery of simple design, that replaced the opulent, over-designed, and constrictive clothes and accessories of 19th-century fashion. The Chanel product brands have been personified by male and female fashion models, idols and actresses, including Inès de La Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Jackie Kennedy, Anna Mouglalis, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, Pharrell Williams, Jennie Kim, Cara Delevingne, and Marilyn Monroe.

Chanel No. 5 Perfume by Coco Chanel

Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in 1921. The scent formula for the fragrance was compounded by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. The design of its bottle has been an important part of the product's allure. Coco Chanel was the first face of the fragrance, appearing in the advertisement published by Harper's Bazaar in 1937.

Pierre Wertheimer French businessman

Pierre Wertheimer was a French businessman, who co-founded Chanel with Coco Chanel.

Félix Amiot French industrial

Félix Amiot was a French industrialist and aircraft constructor based in Colombes, France. Some of the aircraft models he designed served in the French Air Force during the Second World War. His second industrial activity was shipbuilding for fishing boats, sailing and warship in Cherbourg. He became famous for designing and producing Missile Boat type "Combattante" which he sold worldwide.

History of perfume

The word perfume is used today to describe scented mixtures and is derived from the Latin word, "per fumus," meaning through smoke. The word Perfumery refers to the art of making perfumes. Perfume was further refined by the Romans, the Persians and the Arabs. Although perfume and perfumery also existed in East Asia, much of its fragrances were incense based. The basic ingredients and methods of making perfumes are described by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia.

Coco Chanel French fashion designer

Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a French fashion designer and businesswoman. The founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, she was credited in the post-World War I era with popularizing a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style, replacing the "corseted silhouette" that was dominant beforehand. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel extended her influence beyond couture clothing, realizing her design aesthetic in jewellery, handbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Chanel herself designed her famed interlocked-CC monogram, which has been in use since the 1920s.

Chanel No. 22 is one of several well-known fragrances from Parisian couturier, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.

Henri Robert is a French perfumer and chemist, he is best known for his role as Chief Perfumer at Les Parfums Chanel from 1953–1978.

<i>Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky</i>

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky is a 2009 French romantic drama film directed by Jan Kounen. It was chosen as the Closing Film of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and was shown on 24 May 2009.

Paul Parquet

Paul Parquet (1856–1916) was a French perfumer and joint owner of Houbigant. Called the "greatest perfumer of his time" by Ernest Beaux, he is widely regarded as the founder of modern perfumery for having pioneered the use of synthetics in works such as Fougère Royale. His bestselling perfume, Le Parfum Idéal, was described by Robert Bienaimé as a “masterpiece of fragrant equilibrium, harmonious and of good taste as shall never be surpassed”.

Cuir de Russie is a fragrance from Parisian couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.

Bois des Îles is a fragrance produced by Parisian couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The name is French for "Island Wood" or, more literally, "Wood of the Islands".

Rallet

Rallet, founded 1843 in Moscow by Alphonse Rallet (1819–1894), had become, by 1900, Russia's preeminent manufacturer of fine perfume, soap, and cosmetics and was an official supplier to the royal courts of Russia, Persia, and Montenegro. In 1896 Rallet was purchased by Chiris of Grasse, France. When Rallet's Russian assets were nationalized in 1917, the company was reestablished in France. In 1920, Rallet's technical director, Ernest Beaux, created a series of perfumes for Gabrielle Chanel, one of which was No.5. In 1926 Rallet was sold to François Coty.

Krasnaya Moskva

Krasnaya Moskva was the first Soviet-created perfume.

Bourjois is a French cosmetics company owned by the American group Coty Inc. Bourjois creates make-up, fragrance and skincare products, which are sold in approximately 26,000 points of sales in more than 80 countries worldwide, as of 2015.

Constantin Mikhailovich “Kot” Weriguine was a Franco-Russian perfumer, best remembered for his work at Chanel and Bourjois.

Yuri Gutsatz

Yuri Gutsatz,, was a perfumer. He emigrated to Berlin in 1924 and then to Paris in 1933 where he worked for the Parfums de Mury. After the Second World War, he was hired by Louis Amic at Roure Bertrand Fils and Justin Dupont. As a perfumer, he created many perfumes like Carven Chasse Gardée in 1950. and PM of Mary Quant. He participated in perfume projects for Ungaro and Estee Lauder as well as for Cartier, Dior and Van Cleef & Arpels. On December 12, 1975, he registered the trademark Le Jardin Retrouve and founded the first niche perfume house, a few months before the I'Artisan Parfumeur (1976). Yuri Gutsatz was also a perfume critic and vice president of the Société Française des Parfumeurs, and one of the founders of Osmothèque- the perfume conservatory-, in 1990 with Jean Kerleo.

References

  1. "Extract from a church register of births" (in Russian).
  2. "Edouard Hyppolite Beaux". Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  3. "Augustine Wilgemina Misfeld". Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  4. "Jeanne-Cléophée Beaux". Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  5. "Jean Joseph Messinger". Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  6. "Edouard Francois Beaux". Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  7. "Автор Шанели №5 служил в концлагере?". October 25, 2007. blog.kp.ru. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  8. "Кто вы, – Эрнест Бо?". 9/12/06. arhpress.ru/neboz. Archived from the original on 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  9. Philip Kraft, Christine Ledard, Philip Goutell: From Rallet N°1 to Chanel N°5 versus Mademoiselle Chanel N°1, Perfumer and Flavorist2007, Vol. 32 (Oct.), p. 36–48 (includes complete biography of Beaux and background information on the perfume house of Rallet).
  10. Beaux, Ernest (October 1946). "Souvenirs d'un parfumeur". Industrie de la Parfumerie: 228–231.
  11. 1 2 Michael, Edwards (1996). Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances. Levallois, France: HM Editions. pp. 42–45. ISBN   0-646-27794-4.
  12. Frolova, Victoria. "Russian Perfumery and Red Moscow". Bois de Jasmin. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  13. "The fragrance house of Antoine Chiris dates back to 1768 and is considered to be the first and greatest of the Grasse perfumers". www.perfumeprojects.com. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  14. Ash, Lucy (19 October 2017). "'Death Island': Britain's 'concentration camp' in Russia" . Retrieved 26 December 2017 via www.bbc.co.uk.
  15. "Iraïde de Schoenaich". Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  16. "Edouard". Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  17. "Yvonne Girodon". Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  18. "Madeleine". Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  19. Beaux, Gilbert (2006). Une femme libre. France: Fayard. pp. 289–293. ISBN   2-213-62955-2.
  20. Andrea Hurton: Erotik des Parfüms. Geschichte und Praxis der schönen Düfte, Eichborn Verlag Frankfurt am Main (1991) ISBN   3-8218-1299-0
  21. Liz Smith: Fashion: On the scent of a legend, The Times (1987)
  22. 1 2 "BUSINESS ABROAD: King of Perfume". 14 September 1953. Retrieved 26 December 2017 via www.time.com.
  23. Michael Edwards: Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances, HM Éditions, Levallois, France, 1996, p. 12.
  24. 1 2 Toomey, Philippa. "Shop Around," The Times, Saturday, Nov 26, 1977; pg. 26; Issue 60171; col D.
  25. "Coco Chanel," Business Leader Profiles for Students. Vol. 2. Gale Group, 2002.
  26. "Bergamot : from yesterday until today". Osmotheque.