Marcel Rochas was just 22 years old when he left a law career to open his eponymous design house in 1925. Although he had no prior experience in fashion design, his innate gift for form and color quickly made him a sought-after designer in the French fashion realm.

Best known for innovative designs that accentuated the feminine silhouette, Rochas revolutionized the fashion world with his “”mermaid”” dress design. The famed designer was also the first to sew pockets into skirts and create two-thirds-length coats.

In 1934, the Rochas design house added three fragrances, Audace, Avenue Matignon and Air Jeune, to its line. Although all three were taken off of the market during WWII, the design house rebounded with its classic women’s scent, Femme Rochas in 1943. In 1989, the company transformed the deep, warm scent into a lighter, more contemporary fragrance.

In 1953, Rochas dissolved the haute couture facet of his business to concentrate on its wildly successful fragrance and cosmetics division. Upon his passing in 1955, his wife, Helene, successfully ran the company until its sale in 1971.

After changing ownership several times, the Rochas design house still remains a major contender in the global fragrance market. As of 2014, the company offers more than 40 women’s and men’s scents. While many of its earlier creations were produced in collaboration with several different perfume designers, Jean-Michel Duriez has been its in-house perfumer since 2008.

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