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From Perfume Peddler to Merchandising Genius

Posted by Andrea Welzien on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

When you think of Coty, you imagine one of the most successful fragrance houses in the industry. François Coty (1874-1934), while most famous for being a professional French perfumer, was also a politician, journalist, millionaire and a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte. Coty (born Joseph Marie François Spoturno dit Coti) started out peddling his perfumes to barbers, and broke into the big perfume business of Europe through his merchandising genius. Before him, perfume was a luxury item that only the rich could afford. But Coty marketed his perfume as a luxury necessary for everyone and sold perfume affordable to middle and working-class women. His bottles were designed by the great ceramist, Lalique, and represented the first time that perfume bottles were designed to be appealing to the eyes. Impressively, Coty invented the concept of a fragrance set (i.e. perfume and soap identical scents). His first huge perfume success was his Rose Jacqueminot scent in 1904 which launched in a Parisian department store.

Coty was able to compete on price in America by avoiding high tariffs – he imported the ingredients to New York and manufactured there. Coty expanded product to cosmetics and skin care, and to Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He gave simple talc powder a makeover with his famous white and orange L’Origan box. By 1925, 36 million women worldwide used Coty face powders. Coty also started the political paper, L’Ami du Peuple, which had a circulation of almost a million. His wealth was so great that he was also able to loan the French government one hundred million francs for war debt. In 1996, Coty Inc. acquired UK cosmetic brand Rimmel and, in January 2000, the brand was introduced to American consumers. Coty recently acquired Proctor & Gamble’s beauty brands for $12.5 million and is now one of the world’s top beauty companies, remaining #1 in fragrance, #2 in haircare and #3 in color cosmetics. Some of Coty’s most well-known brands are CoverGirl, Sally Hansen and Rimmel. Celebrity fragrances are some of their most popular, including Katy Perry, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, David Beckham and more.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 at 4:33 pm and is filed under Cosmetic Leaders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Cosmetic Promotions: Retail Beauty Marketing
Cosmetic Promotions, Inc.
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