A great lady

Being the makeup nut, perfume fiend and wanna-be billionairess that I am, I was very saddened to learn of the death of beauty pioneer and tycoon Estee Lauder.
Lauder was a master of marketing savvy: she knew instinctively (unlike Freud) what women wanted and how to give it to them. She knew that 1950’s women would not splurge on a perfume for themselves, which is why she released Youth-Dew as a bath oil: the most successful fragrance introduction of its time, incidentally. She also pioneered the concept of the “gift with purchase”: what modern woman does not have a stash of makeup bags and doll-sized bottles of moisturizer from endless GwPs?
The Estee Lauder companies are worth a combined $10 billion and account for two of every five cosmetics products sold in the USA. And Estee (nee Esther Mentzer of Queens) started it all with a Hungarian relative’s recipe for face cream. Not bad for just under 60 years in business.
So here’s to a true pioneer for women in business. It’s too early to raise a glass but I shall raise a bottle of perfume in her honor. (Spellbound, to be exact)

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4 comments

  1. Emily

    Spellbound is my favorite perfume.
    “What modern woman does not have a stash of makeup bags and doll-sized bottles of moisturizer from endless GwPs?” – So true, but even more true, what woman hasn’t gone to a cosmetics counter and bought $19.95 worth of stuff that she didn’t really need at the moment just to GET the GwP?

  2. Kimberly

    “what woman hasn’t gone to a cosmetics counter and bought $19.95 worth of stuff that she didn’t really need at the moment just to GET the GwP?”
    I know I have. Before I got interested in all things political, the only reason I ever read the Sunday papers was to see which department stores had the best GWP deals going on that month. 🙂
    And Spellbound is awesome. I inspired awe in graduate school by never being without expensive perfume, even if I had no money. Spellbound, Ysatis, Issey Miyake, etc, all took precedence over groceries.

  3. Sasha Castel

    Emily and Kimberly, you’re both right. I certainly have bought stuff just for the GwP that I probably wouldn’t have bought on its own. And everyone knows that makeup and perfume are more important than food. I once spent a two -week period eating rice & beans and macaroni & cheese to buy a bottle of Fendi Asja. Totally, 100% worth it…and I’d do it again.