We are sad to announce that Gabriel Bernard Raphel, a third generation French perfumer, passed away on August 23. He was 90 years old.
Born in France, Mr. Raphel was part of the French Resistance during World War II and met the US allies when they arrived in Cannes. He was commissioned in the US Army for several months in 1944 and helped the allies as they worked their way around the country. After attending law school in Aix en Provence, he followed in his father’s footsteps and started a perfume business in Golfe Juan, a small fishing village near Cannes.
In 1956, Mr. Raphel emigrated to the United States and in June of that year joined Polak’s Frutal Works in Middletown, New York as chief perfumer. He remained with Polak’s for 20 years at which time he moved to California. Mr. Raphel was a member of the American Society of Perfumers and was highly regarded by his peers in the perfume community.
Mr. Raphel moved to North Barrington, Illinois in April 2007. He is survived by his wife, Claudine, and his four children: Marie Anne Raphel Reilly of Castle Rock, Colorado; Catherine Raphel Stewart of Ashburn, Virginia; Steve Eric Raphel of Walnut Creek, California; and Carole Kim O’Connor of North Barrington. He was also blessed with nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren