Note: Please understand that this website is not affiliated with the Houbigant company in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the Houbigant fragrances.

The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the Houbigant company how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back the perfume!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the perfume, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories), who knows, perhaps someone from the company might see it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Robert Bienaime's Obituary

Bulletin of the School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry in Paris, No. 20 November-December 1960, p. 23-25 © 2009 - LARHRA / ISH - ANR Patterns France -


BIENAIME Robert (1876-1960)

BIENAIME Robert, born March 15, 1876 Paris, has just died after a relentless and short illness of three months in possession all his faculties and the only concern due to his generous nature disturb nobody; as no one was warned of his funeral. Robert loved one's life is a model intelligence, energy and dynamism.
There are few men who can claim having as much diversity in their business, As the industrial point of view, from the point of economically or socially at and corporate. Endowed with a great capacity for work, its business is exercised effectively in multiple directions. Very energetic, but gently, a First, always affable, not without elegance, it was of great kindness, and refused to believe villainy of an envious, his only conclusion was: "This is a poor guy." His work was so diverse, that it seems essential to make the presentation of the split into three parts: his engineering career chemist, its corporate and social activity; its activity in the economic field. 

Robert Bienaime, after of studies secondary and college preparation Lavoisier, came in 1892 at the Graduate School Physics and Industrial Chemistry, with 11e Promotion, whose director was then
SCHUTZENBERGER, and leaders Pierre Curie work. He was 16 years old. He pulled in a great place with the Chemical Engineer degree and entered the Polishes French company which, despite its young age, he quickly became Assistant Director having served in the Company's most Chemical Engineer of its duties,
Mechanics, architecture etc.. He stayed 14 years and stay in this para-chemical industry and to one side of
metal for forming boxes from each other, should give a sense of reality industrial. 

Then, in 1909, by relationship family, he came into contact with Paul Parquet, Perfumer great creator, co-owner with Alfred Javal of Houbigant Perfume. Paul Parquet, who had inherited this Perfumery his father had an artistic gift designer fragrances, and the strength of things became self chemist provide technical leadership of the firm, while his partner, he had chosen the most qualified of the traders branch, took care of the business part with all that that entails in presentation. This firm taking one extension considerable, Paul Parquet wanted to ensure help of a real chemist. 

This was the "golden age" of Perfumery, where organic chemistry brought him his first remarkable odorants. The time our comrades Justin Dupont, Pillet, Satie, etc.. developed anything that could interest Perfumes. Paul Parquet had to choose between Justin Dupont, Eugene Charabot, personalities already known in the perfume and Robert Bienaime just starting out in the industry. He chose Bienaime who was unknowingly gifted to become Parfumeur. He was so that three years after learning the basics the art it created by a method completely different from that of his master Paul Parquet sensational fragrance:"Quelques Fleurs" which also incredible it may seem, is still in vogue 50 years later. 

After the death of Paul Parquet, Robert Bienaime becomes co-partner of Fernand Javal (son of Alfred Javal died in the meantime) and the firm becomes Javal loved one and then Houbigant SA with Robert loved one as Managing Director and then as President of the Company. His creative genius puts on way of a series of successful fragrances: Subtlilite, Mon Boudoir, Quelques Violets, Un Peau d' Ambre, Temps Lilas, Au Matin, etc. ..Branches are located in all parts of the world. This is the time of booming.

To help Bienaime called to him many alumni EPCI: Schving Paul, Paul Leroux, Raymond Kling, André shavings, Degont Desplanques, etc.. and myself. His affection and admiration for our School was great, he looked at view general education, training Chemical School as the best. Without doubt the influence of Charles and Schutzenberger Lauth and report on school chemistry German who had presided over the foundation the school was felt in him. Sometimes he recalled that it was not without reasons that in the hierarchy of the empire German the Chemists came immediately after the military and private consultants. 

This culture theoretical-experimental him was sometimes taken with a violence hostile behavior vis-à-vis the culture exclusively or too mathematical. He was so convinced of the superiority our school for the training of the mind, he called to his side to take technical, administrative or commercial, alumni, with where he built factories and installs new laboratories. It develops in parallel industries whose perfumery depends: glassware,
cardboard, cans. And each of these areas it applies or it innovating new processes, performs new ideas: glass molds stainless steel, cardboard boxes molded.

He settled in Puteaux a model Soaps, with recovery of the glycerin by the most modern methods. Finally, he made ​​one of his greatest dreams a laboratory research with Professor Ernest Fourneau, Canon Leon Palfray,
Sébastien Sabetay, laboratory within years found many fragrant body new, synthetic flavors etc.. Of original methods of oil analysis essential work on the constitution of natural essences, etc.. But the crisis of 1929 and arrives late the same year as his assistant close Schving Paul dies suddenly. Paul Schving brought him the weight and realism in all it could be a kinetics and dynamics loved one. Already touched by this cruel death, Unexpectedly, while myself I headed Factory New York, the disagreements occurring between him and his associates to the Council Administration, loved one decides to leave Houbigant the Company. Shortly after he founded the Parfums Bienaimé and beauty products Robel. In this new fragrance it creates many perfumes.

 At the same time it handles, following its expression of "Polytechnic". Thus he founded the SA Industries Radio-Electric. With Verley, it is one Company Studies the Rubber Synthetic methods for exploiting Albert Verley, held in the United States during the war. had developed in this country, and which the latter had more or less wanted to recognize or grant patents under grounds of national interest. Always eager to progress and anxious to defend the interests of its country with his sense of economist, he was himself appeared that the raw material rubber Strategic always required in various forms importing overseas territories. However, in circumstances similar to those that occurred in 1940, he saw it was possible with materials from only the metropolitan land to produce appreciable amounts of rubber cheap.
The raw materials were considered very simple and the result of the reaction

The idea was very new and Robert Bienaime had interested the great specialist rubber Etienne de Meeus. There are not for me to say what happened to this project. Robert Beinaimé remained until his last
days President honor and Director of SA Parfums Bienaime. I met him earlier this year and he made ​​me his projects, always with the same good grace and innate elegance, this subtle sense of things, so nuanced that had him a creator of perfumes.

What was prodigious in him is his artistic temperament was not opposed the side down-to-earth that made ​​him interested in economic issues. In the corporate world he played a very
role. Thus in 1919 he was part of Union Council of Perfumery. He assured the President of the National Union the French Perfume from 1923 to 1926, he yet assumed this task from 1931 to 1932, and from 1941 to 1942. For this period tragic of the German occupation, he was able to defend and preserve the autonomy of the industry perfumery in getting of authorities occupying the creation an Committee Special Organization for perfumery accepted, despite his age, the responsibility overwhelming chair the Committee.

In the early days of training the Maison de la Chimie, he supported all his forces, all means, those who had
took the initiative of its foundation. Recently yet, he was part of the Council Organization. He was Vice-President of the Society of Friends the Maison de la Chimie. Also, he brought unreservedly its support to the Society of Industrial Chemistry, of which he was President from 1943 to 1957 and contributed strongly to recover from occupation, which was demolished in the Company. At the death of John Gerard, he was President honor of the Society of Industrial Chemistry and member of the Executive Committee. It was when the Congress International Industrial Chemistry was to held in Athens, where the incumbent President This company had just died. Despite his age, he insisted on taking the Interim John Gerard, and as Vice-President
delegate the functions assumed by, went to Athens, after chairing any the organization of the Congress and worked tirelessly count.

He was Vice-President of the Federation Associations of Chemistry France. It would be too tedious to remember all the scientific societies of which he was part. He was Chairman of the Health Centre Child Foundation Paul Parquet (hospital children's early years). But where social activity and its corporate was exercised with, I say, the more affection is about our school.
From 1924 to 1929 he was President of the Alumni Association and to 1956 served on the Board of Directors School. During his presidency, he created groupsprovince, contributed to the creation of degree
State of Chemical Engineering, took steps that the School is attached to the Faculty of Sciences, inaugurated the publication in our Bulletin conferences comrades made in our meetings, presented to the School Fair Lyon, etc. ..

Finally, he created in 1924, the Society of Friends School of Physics and Chemistry. Who does not remember the revival he knew give the Ball PC during his presidency ... Its relations in the scientific world,
in the art world, in the world policy, in perfumery, sewing in all that is elegant fashion elite do of Paris had allowed him to give this event a luxurious atmosphere and subtle elegance that has always found
Since then, his mind was a universality prodigious. And it is not the least disconcerting that this universal spirit and its ability vigorous activity as an economist. Simply list the different agencies economic contexts in which he held the first place. It began as Advisor Foreign Trade of France. In 1926, next to Lacour-Gayet. he founded the Committee expansion Economic and Customs, which became the Action Committee and
Economic Expansion, which he was currently President. President honor of nstitute of Commerce International. Director of the European League Economic Cooperation. Member of the National Council Committee French employers, etc.. Etc..

He was for several years assistant Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. In all manifestations of his mind economist, he continued to show a liberal, convinced enemy of dirigisme that always be found, ultimately meaningless, inert and sterile by lack of real competition.

The work of Robert Bienaime can summarized in an elegant artistry refined, mixed with a scientific mind
passionately in love with progress, which was not always, but it is fully restored account itself, in complete agreement with own interests. Add to this a dedication to his country and public affairs, ennobled by extreme goodness resulting in a constant affability hovering above small villainy daily life. He was an Officer of the Legion of Honor. 

May his family and friends find here token of our admiration, our our deep affection and grief. His lasting memory will in all centers where the activity is carried out, and for us and all his friends, a lesson and a instance.

Mr. Billot (26e)

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