Plisson and Napoleon in the early 19th century

Napoleon Bonaparte or an impeccable grooming...

Every morning, Napoleon got up at 7 a.m. and immediately called his servants to carry out his toilet. This took almost two hours, because, unlike his contemporaries, Bonaparte had impeccable hygiene. He shaved every day and did not wish to call on a barber. 


It was therefore his valet Constant who shaved him, following him everywhere even during his military campaigns. For greater convenience and safety, Constant, who became his first valet, encouraged him to shave himself.

On a military campaign, Napoleon took with him all his toiletries: shaving brush, combs, razor, scissors, nail file, toothbrush and bottles of cologne. 


In 1808, to meet the needs of the Emperor, Jacques-Louis and Marie-Hélène, the founders of Plisson, brushmakers by trade, designed a beard brush, also known as a travel brush, using their craft skills and ingenuity. He can bring it with him everywhere in his toiletry kit and thus shave alone. 

Jacques-Louis and Marie-Hélène : the founders

Jacques-Louis, born in 1784, comes from a family belonging to the guild of brush makers and tabletiers since the 17th century.As for Marie-Hélène, her father was a fan maker and her brothers and uncles were tabletiers (craftsmen working with hard materials). 

In 1805, the marriage of Jacques-Louis and Marie-Hélène was the starting point of the couple's activities. They were the founders of the modern brushmaking industry at a time when France was entering one of the most turbulent periods in its history. 

The couple became the official brush makers for Napoleon, the military and the Emperor's family. The use of beard brushes or shaving brushes quickly became popular with the military campaigns of the First Empire. The wearing of a moustache was a direct sign of military rank for soldiers; as for the Emperor's close entourage, they displayed a hairless face.


True inventors of the shaving brush, the couple set up their workshop at 42 rue Phélipeaux in Paris. This street later became rue Réaumur when it was widened as part of the major urban planning operations of the city of Paris at the end of the 19th century. The brush factory remained on rue Réaumur until 1883, when it moved to rue des Archives in the Marais. 

After the fall of the Empire, Plisson kept the eagle's head as an emblem in homage to Napoleon, the eagle being at the centre of the Empire's coat of arms and of all the flags of Napoleon's armies.

After a few years of disappearance, the eagle returns to the forefront of the visual identity in 2020. Its head and its gaze turned towards the future and the brand's future developments.

To learn more about the entire history of Plisson visit the About Us page.

A limited edition homage

For the holidays, Plisson is launching the Napoleon Gift Set in a limited edition of 200 pieces.

This box is composed of a shaving brush made and assembled by hand in France in Lazuli blue resin. We pay tribute to Napoleon who made Plisson famous by choosing the brand as its official supplier. 

The Emperor inspired the colours of this box, the Napoleon blue and the Lazuli resin inspired by Lapis-Lazuli, a stone that recalls the Egyptian campaigns whose discoveries inspired many artists and scientists of the time.

Of an extreme elegance, the blue of the Latin Lazuli which means azure, will be the ideal partner of the shaving of the modern Man!

The box is proposed in White High Mountain fibre for its qualities of durability and hygiene with a support for an optimal drying and a bowl with its soap to be ready to use.