5 facts you didn’t know about Guerlain and its rich history of perfume and skincare
What comes to mind when the name Guerlain escape lips? Probably one of their iconic perfume flacons (our mother used Shalimar for most of the '90s) or those striking ads with Angelina Jolie looking like a million bucks. But the house of Guerlain was not built in a day, nor did it rise to international fame within a decade. The story of the French perfumer, one of the longest standing of its kind, transcends time and tradition. The year was 1828 when chemist Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, having grown up in the the exotic world of colourful aroma in his father's spice shop, entered the homes and hearts of Parisian women — commoners and aristocrats alike.
And bust through those doors he did: the gilded gates of Countess of Castiglione, Princess of Metternich, Duchess of Mouchy, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Berry swung for Guerlain's finest potions. Most prestigious of which was that of Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. She would eventually award him the title of "Patented Perfumer to Her Majesty" for Eau de Cologne Impériale.
The rest as they say, is history. To brush up on Guerlain's, we recount the five most underrated (yet crucial) tidbits about the perfume house any self-respecting beauty geek would want to know — as shared by Cyrille Jahin, export training manager of Guerlain.
Guerlain is among the oldest fragrance houses in the world
Founded in Paris in 1828 by Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, the brand recently marked their 190th anniversary of prestige fragrance, skincare and makeup. Since it's inception, Guerlain has retained its production in France to uphold their legacy of luxury.
The Guerlain signature is the bee
Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain adorned the majestic bottle of the celebrated Eau de Cologne Impériale with bees, each hand-painted in gold. This tradition remains an illustrious know-how, with only five artisans possessing the skill to the task. The "Bee" symbol continues to be used today in a contemporary collection, as well as in skincare enriched with Moroccan honey.
"Glory is fleeting, reputation alone lasts."
— Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain
They remain a family-owned enterprise
Meet Thierry Wasser, the fifth generation of Guerlain perfumiers. Even after Guerlain was acquired by LVMH (only the world leader in luxury) in the 1990s, the brand boasted generations of perfumers taking over the reins in the last two centuries. Aimé Guerlain, the founder's son, birthed the famous Jicky. It was the first fragrance ever to blend synthetic notes with natural ingredients. Jacques Guerlain, Aimé's nephew concocted Shalimar in 1921 among hundreds of other creations, the first oriental fragrance to enter the market.
Guerlain has successfully applied their chemical expertise onto skincare
Highly regarded as their skincare masterpiece, the Orchidée Impériale Black cream is formulated to combat visible signs of ageing and refine your skin's texture. Guerlain's approach to sustainable development is incorporated within the product's eco-design refillable porcelain jar.
Guerlain is at the forefront of sustainable luxury beauty
In the name of beauty, the brand is well aware of its environmental responsibilities and their social commitment extends to its employees, customers and suppliers. As such, Guerlain has committed to 100% eco-friendly packaging by 2020.
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