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The end of the 19th - the beginning of the 20th century was a time of extraordinary flourishing of perfumery in Russia. Then Russian perfumes were considered one of the best in the world and received well-deserved awards at prestigious exhibitions. And even the famous French brand "Chanel No. 5" could well become Russian, if the circumstances were different …
It all began in 1843, when the Russified Frenchman Alphonse Ralle founded his own perfume factory in Moscow.
Experienced perfumers from France and Italy were invited to develop the recipes, and raw materials were also purchased there.
Over time, the A. Rale factory developed an assortment of more than 100 types of various perfumery products - this included perfumes and colognes, toilet soap, lipstick and powder. The manufactured products, ranging from penny soaps to very expensive perfumes, reached record volumes, largely due to the fact that they were available to people with a wide variety of incomes.
And thanks to the highest quality of its products, A. Ralle & Co "in 1855 was awarded the title" Supplier of the Court of His Imperial Majesty ", which was very difficult to earn.
Especially for the Russian winters, Alphonse Ralle has developed a series of "winter perfumes" that our ladies really liked. They applied them, going out into the street, on their hats, gloves, furs. These perfumes began to be called - "Perfume de furor" ("Perfume for fur"). The scent of these perfumes manifested itself in an absolutely unusual way in frosty weather, a light and refined crystal note appeared in it.
Unfortunately, in 1857, due to illness, Alphonse Ralle was forced to leave Russia and move to France, a country with a more suitable climate. He sold the Russian company, but on the condition that his name will forever remain in its name. The new owners, having fulfilled this wish, continued the business started by Ralle with dignity.
In 1899, a new factory building was built, equipped with the latest technology.
No other company, except this one, has received such a number of the highest state awards - for the quality of its products, it received four state emblems of the Russian Empire. And in terms of assortment the company "A. Ralle and Co" surpassed even the eminent French. The company's products were also worthily presented at world exhibitions. She was honored at the Paris World Exhibition in 1878, and in 1900 she received the "Grand Prix".
The factory specialists did not disregard the most important events taking place in the country. In 1896, the coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna took place. For this solemn event, the corresponding perfume "In honor of the coronation" was released.
And in 1903, on the eve of a large fancy-dress ball in the Winter Palace, to which guests were supposed to appear dressed in the fashion of the 17th century, a perfume set “Perfumes of Russian Boyars” appeared on sale.
"A. Ralle and Co ", Ernest Beau and" Chanel N5 "In 1881 in Moscow, in the family of a Russified Frenchman, perfumer Edouard Bo, a boy, Ernest, the future creator of fantastic fragrances, was born.
Ernest, 20, who had already completed an internship in France by that time, began to work with great enthusiasm for A. Ralle and Co ". Since 1907, he has held the responsible position of leading perfumer. And his first major success in this field was the perfume and cologne "Tsarsky Heather" with an unusual floral scent. Later, Ernest used Tsarsky Veresck extract to create a number of perfumes, he really liked it.
His other bright new perfumes also had incredible success - "Bouquet de Napoleon", created for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino, as well as "Catherine's Bouquet" ("Bouquet de Catherine") in honor of the 300th anniversary of the reign of the house Romanovs. At that time, in Russia, they were very fond of calling fragrances in French, so many of them, in addition to Russian, also had a French name.
Choosing ingredients for his perfumes, Ernest always tried to find some new original note, different from those that other perfumers have already used.
The company was doing very well, but the outbreak of the First World War disrupted all plans. Ernest had to leave his job and go to the front. He turned out to be a very brave warrior and was awarded several orders.
But after the revolution it was dangerous to return home, and the factory was nationalized in 1918. He and his wife had to emigrate to France.
After completing military service, Ernest gets a job again at the Rale plant, only this time in Grasse, and after 3 years creates his famous perfume "Chanel N5". And so it happened that Russia lost its genius, and France gained.
In his memoirs, Ernest Bo wrote: "". So there is something from Russia in this aroma.
As for the A. Ralle & Co factory in Russia, after nationalization in 1918 it received a name in the spirit of that time - Soap and Perfume Factory No. 7, and later - the Svoboda factory.
And in continuation of the theme, a photo story about how cabaret singer Coco Chanel began her journey into the world of haute couture.