The Rigaud story starts in 1852 when Jean Baptiste Rigaud moved to Paris from his native Auvergne. He became fascinated by the world of scent and began developing the distinctive perfumes for which the Rigaud brand would later become famous.
Over the next half century Jean-Baptiste proved himself to be both a parfumier of genius and an innovator par excellence. He created new perfumes based on exotic ingredients, notably ‘Essence of Ylang Ylang’ in 1866, and later ‘Eau de Kananga’ from the Kananga flower of Japan.
Jean-Baptiste died in 1898, bequeathing a thriving business to his widow and their son Henri. Henri inherited his father’s love of perfumes and in turn developed many much-admired fragrances. His masterpiece, created in 1914, was ‘Un Air Embaumée’; un succès énorme in French Society that inspired paintings and poems.
Following the Second World War, Parfumerie Rigaud passed into the hands of the third generation: Mario Rigaud and his wife Viviane.
Viviane was a lover of homes and interior decoration. She created the concept of “parfum pour la maison”. Henri’s response was to develop the world’s first scented candle. He formulated for it a totally new fragrance inspired by the pine forests of the Mediterranean, and a patented soft wax to release and diffuse that fragrance with both intensity and longevity.
The result, in 1960, was their masterpiece: Cyprès, forest green in colour, presented in a container of handblown glass, hand tied with a red ribbon and presented with a silver base and éteignoir. It was this classic creation that gave rise to the global phenomenon of the scented candle.