Henri Robert

Henri Robert (1899, Grasse – 1987) is a French perfumer and chemist,[1] he is best known for his role as Chief Perfumer at Les Parfums Chanel from 1953–1978.[2]

Early life and careerEdit

Roberts father Joseph Robert was the Chief Perfumer at Etabs. Chiris and a notable perfumer, who gave François Coty some of his first lessons[3] and developed the solvent extraction process that revolutionised how the perfumery industry produced raw materials.[3] By 1919 the younger Robert was also working at Chiris alongside perfumers Vincent Roubert, Ernest Beaux and Henri Alméras.[4]

He later joined Parfums d'Orsay,[5] where his one of his most significant creations was the fragrance Le Dandy in 1923.[6] Le Dandy was a fashionable floral aldehyde, which although marketed to men became a favourite with young women of the 1920s.[7] Following François Coty's death in 1934 Robert became Chief Perfumer at Coty. In 1936 he created Muguet de Bois in tribute to François Coty, taking inspiration from Coty's custom of presenting his employees with bunches of lily of the valley, taken from the grounds of his country home, every May first.[8] After the outbreak of World War II, Robert moved to New York City and continued to work as a Perfumer at Coty from 1940 to 1943.

In 1943 Henri Robert Inc. merged with the Albert Verley Company Inc., and Mr. Robert worked there for an unknown number of years before departing to Chanel.

Robert took over as Chief Perfumer at Les Parfums Chanel in 1952 after the retirement of Ernest Beaux, creator of the perfume Chanel No. 5. While at Les Parfums Chanel, which owned both Chanel and Bourjois, he created a number of modern classics including Pour Monsieur (1955) Chanel's first men's fragrance,[9] No. 19 (1970) and Cristalle EDT (1974).[10]


Henri Robert was the uncle of perfumer Guy Robert (1926-2012)([11] and great-uncle of perfumer François Robert.[12]

Notable perfume creationsEdit

  • 1925 – Le Dandy, Parfums D'Orsay
  • 1936 – Le Muguet des Bois, Coty
  • 1953 – Glamour, Bourjois
  • 1951 – Ramage, Bourjois
  • 1955 – Pour Monsieur, Chanel
  • 1970 – No. 19, Chanel
  • 1974 – Cristalle, Chanel


  1. ^ "Robert, Henri". Museu del perfum (in French). Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Olivier Polge replaces his father, Jacques, as the Chanel inhouse perfumer". Luxury Activist. February 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b Edwards, Michael (23 August 2012). "Guy Robert: A Tribute". The Perfume Magazine. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Vincet Roubert, biography". Perfume Projects. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  5. ^ Billot, Marcel (1975). Perfumery Technology: Art, Science, Industry. Ellis Horwood. ISBN 9780470072981.
  6. ^ "Le Dandy by D'Orsay c1925". D'Orsay Perfumes. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  7. ^ Groom, Nigel. The New Perfume Handbook. Springer Science & Business Media, 1997. ISBN 9780751404036.
  8. ^ Morris, Edwin T. (1984). Fragrance : A story of perfume from Cleopatra to Chanel. New York: Scribners. ISBN 0684181959.
  9. ^ Madsen, Axel (2007). Chanel: A Woman of Her Own. Diane Publishing Company. ISBN 9781422366349.
  10. ^ Henri Robert, Lightyears, Inc., 2005, retrieved October 4, 2008
  11. ^ Burr, Chandler (2008), The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-8050-8037-7
  12. ^ "Perfumers ~ L to S". Now Smell This. Retrieved 29 December 2015.