Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Legrain Perfumes

Legrain was established in 1921 at 9 rue Richepanse, Paris by Simon Moscovitz with associate Manole Aizic. Moscovitz was later known as Simon Legrain or Isidore Legrain. They produced luxurious and humorous presentations.

The Legrain perfume factory was founded in Romania by Henry Legrain in 1915. Simon Moscovici, who was an accountant at a major pharmacy in Bucharest, along with a friend Aizic Manole, a tailor, decided to enter the world of perfumery. Their vision was a perfume shop that exclusively imported all of its products from France and decided to christen it with a French name, to give it some finesse.

Henry’s son Enrique stated that “When the Balkan Wars started in 1912-1913, not much French perfume came into Romania, so in 1915, the Legrain perfumery was created.” By 1919, the building of the factory was finally finished at No. 2 Octavian Goga Street next to a locomotive factory. The Legrain factory manufactured soap, cosmetics, perfumes and colognes. A few years later, in 1921, a company of the same name was founded in Paris, located on Rue Richepanse, No.9.

World Trade Notes on Chemicals and Allied Products, 1938:
"French technical and financial collaboration is found in the cosmetic and perfume factories Legrain and Ravel."



Legrain produced products with French names, as French fragrances and cosmetics carried a certain cache all over the world. Some of their more popular perfumes were Noblesse, Bride au Vent and Vieux Paris, but their best product by all accounts was their cologne Royal Ambree, which enjoyed universal appreciation.

When World War II started, the Legrain factory is loosely sold, ironically, to a German group. After nationalization, the fundamentals Legrain factory in Bucharest, will establish a cosmetics factory originally called, in 1952, Alen Mak, later became Miraj.
Henry’s son noted that “although they were Nazis, they were decent people... and the new owner proudly showed them his badge, number 7 of the Nazi party.” 
Enrique, Henry’s son, mentions that "When I was a student in Romania, a teacher said to me:" You made a paste that will make you a millionaire. " Actually wanted to tell me: "You are a materialistic Jew bastard. " 
His father, Simon Moscovici later renamed himself Henry (Enrique) Legrain, after the perfume company itself and tried to flee the Nazis and relocate in Brazil.   
After crossing Europe, the border between France and Spain was blocked. Le transit visa had expired by Country Palms. "We were told that we can not enter, and we could not return to France because it was occupied by the Germans," says Enrique Legrain, 64 years after the incident. 
And he remembers in detail. How they were back at the Spanish Consulate after stamps, obtained with difficulty, as passed by the Germans cold booth at the border, as his father had a bag of gold coins on him ... "Eventually I arrived on a two-kilometer road, which was entered in Spain. On the floor were orange and banana peels, Spanish dirt. Barcelona, ​​Catalonia all, then were kept in misery. But it seems to me the way to paradise ... "
While in Barcelona, Henry opened a new branch of Legrain and had the first factory built from scratch,  the first laboratory was 250 square meters in size. 
Henry’s son Enrique says, "Two years after that, we rented two apartments in the same building. After another two years, I rented a basement and another building that says "Legrain is a soul without a body".  
In Spain, Enrique Legrain had "little relationship" with the Swiss representative of a house, Givaudan, and so succeeded in regaining the world apothecary. "We entered a small laboratory, third class, which did not have any success.  
 "On January 31, 1943, we left Romania, me, father, his two sons and their wives. It was an odyssey, something exceptional, and I am grateful to my father, who made a sacrifice and then sold our perfume factory in Romania to flee from the Germans. Too many humiliations endured, I consider myself as a Jew not "worthy" to belong to the Romanian army and put me to give winter snow on the sidewalks every morning. "
We have built in the center of Barcelona 2,300 meters of factory, new floors. Accumulate orders, and in 1962 we opened the factory, and has become too small. I took a land and built 8,000 meters of factory and, after a while, another 3,000. In 1985 we sold ".
In July '43  leave the market with three products: a cologne, "Royal Ambre", which was number 1 in Romania and became number 1 in Spain, and soon I became a factory owners. Until 1985 I grew up and when I sold it, the factory produces and sells three million liters per year of the cologne, two million liters of deodorants, 30,000 pounds of bath gel, "said Legrain.  
"We did fantastic business, because I knew the perfumer profession in detail. Over 60 years, and when I saw that there is no one to follow me - I have two daughters - my father was dead, my brother had two sons who were not recommended for it - were a disaster actually - I decided to sell "recalls one who was guided by the saying" when a love affair is over, it's better not to insist. "  
After the sale of the factory by Akzo, the huge Dutch group of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, Enrique Legrain remained president director-general for another five years. Then, the plant went into a giant American portfolio group - Sara Lee. 
"As I took the factory? A good price I paid as required. Enough for me and my family to live the rest of her life and to help others. I do not want to scare you. I have 100 million, I have 200, ha ha ha ...! Recognize that are cute! " - http://www.evz.ro/milionarul-roman-din-barcelona-844550.html





Manole Aizic  :
Manole Aizic. He owned the perfumery company Ravel. During the war he was in Bucuresti, Romania. Bucuresti, Ilfov, Walachia, Romania
Wartime Address: Str. Romulus, nr. 68

This information is based on a List of persecuted persons found in Lists of Jews from Bucharest whose money was confiscated, 1941. His business was subject to Aryanization of property.


I was lucky enough to learn more about Manole Aizic through some email written by his grandchildren.

"My grandfather, Manole Aizic was partners in the perfume company, Legrain, with Mr. Moscovitz in Paris (per an email I saved from 2007 from a cousin who lived across the street in Bucharest).  It seems like they ended the partnership (not sure when) at which time my grandfather opened Ravel in Bucharest, building the factory in back of his residence on Via Romulus 68.  The home still exists though I don’t know if the factory building behind is still there.  This cousin also mentioned that they made a famous cologne called “Bolero de Ravel" inspired by the music and composer.  I wish I had photos but sadly, I don’t. The email also states that when the partnership ended, Mr. Moscovitz and his family relocated to Switzerland."

"My father left Romania just before the war, moved to New York where I grew up, and set up a branch of the perfume and cosmetics business there. After the war it barely existed, but he used to make a small set of cosmetics in our basement, with help from my mother and we three children. I looked at the entry on your blog for Ravel, and was interested to see New York mentioned. However, the list of perfumes was completely unfamiliar to me, and if that was my father’s business, I think I would have recognized them. My grandparents survived the war and came to New York in the early 1950s."




The perfumes of Legrain:
  • 1924 Vieux Paris
  • 1937 Noblesse
  • 1940 Armistice
  • 1940 Reproche
  • 1940 Royal Ambree
  • 1943 Lavande Royale
  • 1945 Anonyme
  • 1945 Chantage
  • 1945 Bride au Vent
  • 1945 Vieux Paris, relaunched
  • 1950 Veloute
  • 1951 Royale Ambrée, relaunched
  • Barcelona
  • Cubs
  • Eau de Écorce
  • Moussel
  • Petit Cheri
  • Promenade à la Cote d'Azur
  • Promenade À Paris
  • Seintia
  • Talon Rouge
  • Roulette aux Parfums




No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be subject to approval by a moderator. Comments may fail to be approved or may be edited if the moderator deems that they:
contain unsolicited advertisements ("spam")
are unrelated to the subject matter of the post or of subsequent approved comments
contain personal attacks or abusive/gratuitously offensive language

International Perfume Bottle Association

IPBA Annual Convention

Annual IPBA Perfume Bottles Auction

Annual IPBA Perfume Bottles Auction