PARIS — Forty women were invited to blow out an equal number of celebratory candles May 4 here to fete the birthday of L’Eau de Rochas fragrance.

This story first appeared in the May 12, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Since its launch in 1970, 55 million bottles of the scent have been purchased, said Philippe Founes, managing director of P&G Prestige France, which oversees the Rochas fragrance business. Founes calculated that comes to one bottle sold every three minutes since L’Eau de Rochas’ introduction.

To help commemorate the anniversary, the 40 women were selected online to feature in a traveling exhibition of photographs taken by Kate Barry. As part of the selection process, they were asked whether they wear Eau de Rochas and to describe the sort of emotions and sensations the fragrance evokes.

Among the revelers at Paris’ Maison Blanche restaurant — where the photos were on display — were Barry and Rochas’ perfumer Jean-Michel Duriez. Pastry chef Pierre Hermé cooked up a dessert whose flavors were an interpretation of some of L’Eau de Rochas’ olfactive notes, such as orange, lemon and bergamot.

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