Lightyears Collection


In 1854 (or 1852), Jean-Baptiste François Rigaud, a gentleman with political connections, bought the Victoria perfumery and began his own career as a perfumer.

Rigaud's first creations were marketed under names such as "Ylang-ylang," "Bouquet of Manila," "Bouquet of Paris," and "Victoria Bouquet." It is safe to assume that these were floral fragrances.

By 1876, Rigaud had begun to use synthetic ingredients in his fragrances. The result? A gold medal at the Philadelphia World's Fair.

In addition to the Paris shop, Rigaud soon had outlets in New York, South America, Asia and throughout Europe. His advertising boasted that Rigaud perfume was "Found wherever there is a high class store."

In 1910, Henry Rigaud took over his father's business and opened a new shop at 16, Rue de la Paix, in Paris. His great success was Un Air Embaumé

Celebrity Fragrances

Under the name "V. Rigaud," a number of celebrity fragrances were introduced in the early years of the 20th century. Rigaud's celebrities were opera stars — the "big names" of the day. The Rigaud stable of celebrities included Geraldine Farrar (1882-1967), an American soprano, Mary Garden (1874-1967), a Scottish soprano, Emma Trentini (1878-1959), an Italian soprano, and Carolina White (1886-1961), another American soprano.

Mary Garden Perfume "enshrines one with an enchanting atomosphere of flower fragrance" said the advertising. There was also a Mary Garden cold cream, talc, face powder, toilet water, sachet powder, brillantine, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, smelling salts, and breath mints — plus tooth paste and mouth wash.

It seems that Rigaud, in creating a whole Mary Garden line of cosmetics and personal care accessories, went a bit beyond the permissions they were given in licensing her name. Mary sued and in Garden v. Parfumerie Rigaud, Inc. (1937), a U.S. court found in her favor saying that while she had consented that her name could be used in connection with a particular perfume, Riguad had failed to secure the consent needed to register her name and portrait as a trademark.

Today, Only Candles

In 1950, Rigaud "invented" scented candles. It is said that the original Rigaud candle was ordered at the request of the current owner's wife, simply to scent their Paris boutique. The candles caught on with customers, perfume became a thing of the past, and today's Rigaud business is focused on the "Rigaud Candle".

Examples of Products from Rigaud

Old Rigaud Bottle (Date Unknown)  
Mary Garden (1910)  
Un Air Embaumé (c.1912)  

—— ## ——

If you have any information you would like to share with us about Rigaud perfumes, please use the message sender below.

Comments On This Article
Add Your Comment
Photo of Phil Goutell
Philip Goutell's Signature

Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.