Though founded in 1935, the history of Lancome begins years earlier when the relationship of its founder, Armand Petitjean came to a head with Francois Coty with whom he had collaborated to produce perfumes . Parting ways because of differences in perceptions regarding production and sales, Petitjean introduced the first five Lancome fragrances at the World’s Fair in Brussels in its founding year. The company’s name was inspired by the ruins of Le Chateau de Lancosme and the roses in the vicinity of the castle, the company’s symbol. The brand’s first five fragrances—Tropiques, Conquete, Kypre, Tendres Nuit and Bocages were created to represent the five continents of the world, each distinct and unique but all immediate successes.
Petitjean’s goal was to create a beauty brand to deliver French elegance around the world and his collaboration with Coty’s former artistic director in creating their elegant perfume bottles was a start. Lancome later expanded its brand to include cosmetics and skin care products for both men and women and is known today not only for the quality of their goods, but by their high profile advertising campaigns that feature top models and celebrities photographed by leading fashion photographers.
Armand Petitjean, perfumer and cosmetician, devoted his life to his dream of giving women the most beautiful things possible.
For them, he created Lancôme.
For them, he selected the rose.
For them, he surrounded himself with the best researchers.
For them, he began an exemplary adventure in the realm of passion.
His passion for fragrances inspired Armand Petitjean to take a spectacular step: in 1935, he launched Lancôme with five great fragrances. Audacious? Yes, but Armand Petitjean was a product of the school of François Coty, the “father of 20th century luxury perfumes.”
“Tropiques”, “Tendres Nuits”, “Kypre”, and “Bocages”, rare perfumes which would be followed by so many others, among them the prestigious “Magie” of the nineteen-fifties. Nearly all the bottles were created by the great artist Georges Delhomme.
The bottles Georges Delhomme created for Lancôme are today collectors’ items.
The Fish-Moon bottle for the eau de cologne Cachet Bleu (1935).
The bottle with an engraved jasmine flower in blossom could contain different fragrances (1935).
The amphora of “Marrakech” today commands astronomical prices (1947).
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