Giorgio Armani has been called the most successful fashion mogul on the planet, and with his company currently turning over an annual sum of 1.6 Billion dollars, it’s easy to see why. It may be a surprise to many then that Armani is a relatively new addition to the world of high fashion, the company having been founded as recently as 1974. This was the year his men’s line of clothing appeared with a women’s line following closely in 1975. Armani design is known for its crisp lines, top quality fabrics and a chic tailored look. Armani’s beauty offshoot, called Armani Cosmetics, specialises in the creation and distribution of high quality cosmetic products as well as perfumes and colognes. Known the world over for their inimitable minimalist design, the packaging of Armani fragrances is always designed specifically to echo the clean, uncluttered design of other Armani products and are often desirable objects in and of themselves.
A little known fact about the Armani Cosmetics range is that it is actually manufactured by L’Oreal’s luxury arm of product development and not in-house as many might assume. Nevertheless they might as well be due to the fact that Armani has over the years developed a very fruitful relationship with L’Oreal who have proven themselves are more than capable of producing lines of cosmetic products that fit in seamlessly with the rest of the ever-growing Armani catalogue of products. The result of this collaboration has been an astonishing array of over sixty different fragrances, perfumes and colognes, going all the way back to 1982. The following is a list, in chronological order, of these Armani fragrances just to give you an indication how prolific this collaboration with L’Oreal has been in terms of unique products.
The Calvin Klein brand is known absolutely everywhere and has been instrumental in the development and popularisation of that casual all-American look that we take for granted now the world over. Relatively new to the world of fragrances Calvin Klein started to expand from its lines of casual wear and undergarments in 1981 with the launch of Calvin, a spicy and sharp masculine-smelling cologne for men. The success of this product has led to nine other lines of perfumes and colognes created under the CK label that have all done extremely well in the marketplace. Especially popular with both male and female customers has been the company’s two unisex fragrances, ck one and ck be.
Released in 1996 they are a long-running favourite among perfume lovers and never seem to go out of style. K one has probably been the most popular of the two and was updated a decade later with the release of two limited edition variations; ck one electric and ck one scene, released in 2006. Erotic is a word that gets bandied about quite often in the fashion and perfume industries however it is the perfect way to describe these unisex fragrances that are indeed equally suitable for both men and women, blending as they do masculine and feminine elements to create an uncanny androgynous aroma that is both sexy and understated. Sex has of course been a key feature in Calvin Klein branding, the company often creating striking and controversial advertisements that have been the subject of much debate in the media.
Perhaps most controversial among these sexy adverts was the 1979 Brooke Shields campaign featuring her looking dangerously young, with the slogan “You know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” Though this may have been the most controversial, by far the most memorable Calvin Klein campaign so far featured the iconic British model Kate Moss launching Calvin Klein’s first unisex fragrance ck one. Perhaps the most famous two Calvin Klein fragrances are Eternity, with its fresh delicate floral fragrance and Obsession, with it’s spicy oriental woody notes. These two fragrances (available in both perfume and cologne, are in many ways these are the Chanel No 5 of the Calvin Klein perfume lines and are perennial favourites with millions of perfume buyers all over the world. Calvin Klein has also recently launched CK Free, for men, with accompanying images of the wondering loner, driving though the heart of North America’s constantly changing landscape. The cologne has been met with wide approval and further bolsters Calvin Klein’s place in the perfume marketplace.
Christian Dior is a highly successful French fashion house specialising not only in haute couture and ready to wear items of clothing, but also menswear, fashion accessories, perfumes and a number of other items that are manufactured by companies that Dior currently hold stakes in such as the massive luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton. Though official dates are sketchy, Christian Dior is thought to have been founded in 1947 from a private residence in Paris. The same year is also given as the founding date of Dior Parfums, the fragrance arm of Dior that has since its establishment earned a reputation as a producer of very desirable and exclusive fragrances. A fact that is evident in just how many perfumes from the Dior line of fragrances have been discontinued and so are no longer available for purchase. Dior’s first ever perfume was called Miss Dior, released in 1947, the same year that is often given for the establishment of the company as a whole, it is said to have been dedicated to Catherine Dior, Christian Dior’s sister. At this early stage the perfume business was held jointly between three stakeholders, Christian Dior being one of them. Things moved rapidly for Dior as a company, and perhaps due to post war affluence in the United States as well as a growing want for luxury items, the following year Dior set up shop in New York’s Fifth Avenue; more specifically at the corner where it is crossed by 57th Street. This date is given in the company’s official history as not only the date for the establishment of a New York division of Dior Parfums, but also the establishment of Dior as a ready-to-wear luxury house in the United States. Business appears to have been very good and the expansion into this new territory was a good one, the same year the New York division of Dior opened the company also released its second perfume to the market, Diorama. By the following year Dior was responsible for over 5% of the whole of France’s export revenue. Throughout the 1960′s and 1970′s Dior continued to grow, becoming a fashion label that defined the period. Celebrity endorsements abounded, most notably by actress Elizabeth Taylor and 1963 and 64 saw the release of Diorling perfume for women and Eau Sauvage for men. Diorella perfume was next to be released in 1972, followed several years later by the perfume Dioressence in 1979. The early 1980′s saw financial troubles for the company which resulted in a change of leadership. Just before this the mens cologne Jules was released by the company and just after the change of hands Poison perfume for women was released in 1985. Poison went on to become the iconic 1980′s perfume, bringing in a massive amount of revenue for the company as well as helping Dior to claw back its market share. Several years later in 1991 Dior does it again with the launch of Dune, which would go on to become a very popular perfume in the early 1990′s and the following year Dior Parfums, re-released the eagerly anticipated Miss Dior for a new generation of Dior women. As can be seen, Dior Parfums seem to have a habit of releasing period defining fragrances that will go on to characterise a decade. The same thing was achieved at the close of the 21st Century with Diors ever-popular J’adore and the French perfumer continues to go from strength to strength.
Quite the unlikely global perfume and cologne success story, Davidoff is a company that actually specialises in fine tobaccos rather than the high fashion that is often associated with perfumeries. The name Davidoff originates from the founder of the company, Zino Davidoff, who was born to Jewish parents in Kiev. His parents were tobacco merchants in Kiev who had to flee to Geneva following the persecution of Jews during the period. His parents established a tobacconist shop in Geneva which he would take over and go on to build into the empire it is today.
In addition to its famous Cuban cigars and luxury cigarette products, Davidoff has, of late, also become world-renowned for its lines of fragrances that have been met the world over with resounding enthusiasm. The first fragrance to have been released and distributed under the Davidoff name was a cologne called Davidoff Classic which hit the shops sometime in 1984. Owing to the favourable reviews and popularity of this initial venture into the world of fragrances Davidoff Classic cologne was quickly followed up a couple of years later by another fragrance which bore the name of the company’s owner. However most people today will be unable to separate the Davidoff brand from their enormously successful line of Cool Water scents that have become known all over the globe. The first of these was actually released back in 1988 as a cologne and captured the imaginations of millions of men with its non-traditional softer notes of jasmine and lavender. The fresher bouquet evident in Cool Water led to many women also purchasing the cologne and wearing it as perfume. Not wishing to miss out on a huge potential customer base that could be expanded upon in time the company also soon after debuted Cool Water for Women and also another spin-off called Cool Water Frozen perfume for Women. In addition to these, the overall popularity of the Cool Water line of fragrances has led to several more variations being introduced to the market, these continue to be released to this day, stretching back from 2010 to 2004 and testify to the overall popularity of the brand and it’s memorable scent. These variations on the Cool Water theme include: Cool Water Ice Fresh (2010), Cool Water Cool Summer (2009), Cool Water Freeze Me (2008), Cool Water Game Happy Summer (2007), Cool Water Wave for Women (2007), Cool Water Game (2006), Cool Water Summer Fizz (2006), Cool Water Sea Scents and Sun (2005), Cool Water Deep Sea, Scents and Sun (2005), Cool Water Deep (2004), and Cool Water Frozen (2004). In addition to tobacco products and perfumes, Davidoff line also create luxury wallets, watches, alcoholic beverages, coffee and even cigar humidors.
Les Parfums Givenchy, the perfumery belonging to French Haute Couture fashion house Givenchy, was established in 1957, five years after Givenchy itself was founded. The first big name to be associated with the Les Parfums Givenchy brand was the film star Audrey Hepburn. In fact the first perfume to come out of the famous French fashion house, L’Interdit, is said to have been inspired by her feminine graces. Furthermore the goal of Les Parfums Givenchy from its inception was to marry the traditional French chic of Givenchy, with the modern glitz and glamour of America, with Audrey Hepburn considered a living embodiment of these later qualities. Other high profile endorsers of the brand include the Kennedy family and actress Liv Tyler who has been a spokeswoman for Givenchy since 2003, specifically advertising the overwhelmingly successful Very Irresistible Givenchy line. It has also recently come out that a a new male celebrity endorser has been taken on board in the form of Justin Timberlake, who will advertise a new cologne for men that Givenchy is currently in the process of releasing and distributing, the new fragrance is simply called Play. The Givenchy range of fragrances doesn’t run into quite as many different individual products as some other brands have to their names, especially when you take into account how long Les Parfums Givenchy have been around. This is perhaps due to the fact that in the beginning Les Parfums Givenchy concentrated more specifically on creating eclectic scents that would have a greater longevity, rather than being replaced by a new line or new fragrance every couple of years. This is evident in the popularity of such colognes as Xeryus in the 1980′s and Pi in the 1990′s. Times, however, do change and Givenchy have had to meet demand for new products as consumer appetites have grown and as the need and desire for new change so rapidly nowadays. Les Parfums Givenchy, like all the biggest names in perfume and cologne, now also carry a large selection of fragrances for both men and women, catering for almost any sort of taste or lifestyle.
Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake is known in the world of fashion for his novel approaches to clothing, his experimental approaches to fabrics and form, as well as his focus on using technology to push the envelope of what is possible. All this is done with a passion for the development of new methods of producing garments. Sculpture is a word that is often associated with his creations and indeed his style as a whole, creating as he does shapes and forms that challenge preconceptions and stay in the mind long after they have been encountered. As with most fashion houses, perfume is a vital and profitable aspect of the Issey Miyake range of products. A relative latecomer to the world of designer perfumes Issey Miyake launched the company’s first ever perfume in 1992, the enormously popular L’eau d’Issey. L’eau d’Issey is actually a pun devised by Miyake that both means Issey’s water, but also when said in French sounds like The Odyssey. L’eau d’Isse y went on to corner the market for a few years, selling extremely well all over the globe. It’s understated floral notes in many ways becoming a defining fragrance in the mid to late nineties. Many people will remember the memorable pyramidal perfume bottle it came in that was actually designed by Issey Miyake himself and is said to have been inspired by the view of the moon behind the Eiffel tower as seen through his window while he was working in Paris after his studies. Thanks to the overwhelming and unexpected success of this first fragrance, he released the label’s first ever scent for men, L’eau d’Issey pour Homme in 1994 which was closely followed by another cologne for men L’eau Bleue d’Issey Pour Homme in 2004 and L’eau Bleue d’Issey Eau Fraiche in 2007. The perfume arm of Issey Miyake has grown year on year and specialises in delicate fragrances that delight the senses as well as beautiful perfume bottles that resemble miniature sculptures. Their products have a feel of quality and exclusivity, a fact that has been made more evident by a tradition started by the Miyake in 2007 where every year he releases a new limited edition fragrance by bringing in and collaborating with a different renowned perfumer.
Diesel is a well known Italian clothing company originally specialising in jeans and other items of casual clothing for the young adult market. The brand has since its inception moved on to all sorts of fashion accessories such as fragrances, shoes, underwear, watches and jewelry, having even recently developed a highly desirable limited edition version of the new Fiat 500 alongside Fiat with dark urban colours, denim seats, chrome diesel logos and other styling touches. The company is based in Molvena in northern Italy and was founded by Renzo Rosso in 1978. It’s relatively new perfume department has extended the reach of the company bringing their extremely loyal customer base with them in their goal to create interesting and unique fragrances for both men and women that perfectly suit their design direction and that can be accessorised with all the other items in their ever growing line. Diesel recently signed with L’Oreal that have been commissioned to create Diesel fragrances for men and women, this partnership has recently seen the release of the extremely successful Fuel For Life For him and her that launched to overwhelmingly positive reviews. The following is a list of fragrances for both men and women that have been released to date by the company, their release spans from 1996 to 2010: Diesel (1996), Diesel Fuel For Life for Men (2008), Diesel Fuel For Life for Women (2008), Diesel Fuel For Life Unlimited (2008), Diesel Green Feminine (2004), Diesel Green Feminine Special Edition (2003), Diesel Green Mascline (2003), Diesel Green Masculine Special Edition (2003), Diesel Zero Plus Feminine (2000), Fuel For Life Femme (2007), Fuel For Life He Summer (2009), Fuel For Life Homme (2007), Fuel For Life She Summer (2009), Only the Brave (2009), Only the Brave Bunka (2009), Only the Brave Music Animation (2010).
The brain child of Italian designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, Dolce &Gabbana was founded with the vision of bringing timeless formal designs to the marketplace that would endure the test of time rather than being made obsolete season on season. Known for their austere colour schemes (mostly black) and geometric lines a Dolce&Gabbana design can be spotted from a mile away and the company has spawned many cheaper high street imitators over the years. They also specialise in accessories such as eyewear, purses and bags, and timepieces, as well as ready to wear garments. Dolce&Gabbana also have a second line that is called D&G, this arm of the company is more focused on creating trend setting urban designs, more colourful and flamboyant in nature D&G also seem to be aimed at a younger crowd and as such are more affordable than the Dolce&Gabbana line. The D&G label is also home to an ever-growing line of fragrances for both men and women. D&G perfumes and colognes have established quite a foothold in the perfume market and are often accompanied by extremely provocative advertising campaigns featuring top supermodels. Their latest fragrance project features the release of an unparalleled five fragrances under the title The D&G Fragrance Anthology.
Chanel is one of the best known and most reputable fashion houses in the world, specialising in haute couture fashion items, the label has over the years become synonymous with luxury and style. Based in Paris, France Chanel was founded by Parisian fashion designer Coco Chanel and since its inception has had very high profile celebrity endorsers such as Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman and Audrey Tautou.
Chanel’s Perfume branch, called Parfums Chanel, goes back as far as the mid nineteen twenties and was established in order to create lines of luxurious perfumes and cosmetics. Not only is Parfums Chanel an integral part of Chanel’s business, it is also one of the most profitable arms of the Chanel brand, bringing in more revenue than many of it’s other ventures combined. Another little known fact about Parfums Chanel is that it was actually preceeded by it’s best selling item, Chanel No. 5 perfume. Chanel No. 5 actually hit the market before the formation of Parfums Chanel and is possibly the most iconic fragrance in the world.
Parfums Chanel is also responsible for creating one of the most memorable images of the twentieth century, in the form of an advertisement depicting Marilyn Monroe splashing Chanel No. 5 on her. The image has graced the pages of countless magazines and books as well as being an ever-popular poster.
To this day Chanel perfumes are as desirable as they have ever been, with Chanel No.5 being the fashion house’s flagship fragrance and Chanel perfumes in general being a brand known the world over, regarded as a product of exceptional quality and style.
Elizabeth Arden is then name of a cosmetics company founded by Florence Nightingale Graham, a Canadian businesswoman who in many ways brought cosmetics to mainland America and indeed the whole idea of salons and makeovers. She was the first to mass market makeup at a time when it was only really thought acceptable when worn by performers. In hear early years she worked several jobs that introduced her to the different worlds of skincare and business, knowledge that she would bring together in the formation of her own company.
She initially formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, and when this partnership fell apart she came up with the famous name of the company she created by combining the first name of her partner with the last name from a famous poem by Tennyson’s: “Enoch Arden”. Her enterprise really found its wings though when she traveled to France in 1912 to study beauty the continental way as well as other techniques that were commonly employed by Parisian beauty salons. She returned to the United States with a collection of makeup she herself had created while in Paris and began stirring things up back home. She also worked in partnership with the chemist A. Fabian Swanson, creating the “fluffy” face cream. The initial success of this product and several other ones the pair collaborated in producing led to a long term business relationship between the two. During World War Two she created a lipstick that went by the name Montezuma Red. By the end of the 1930′s the brand she had created was as well known as Coca-Cola and Singer sewing machines. Today the company is owned by Fabergé after being sold to Eli Lilly and Company in 1971 for $38 million. Elizabeth Arden has since branched out and become a world leader in the production of fragrances than not only appear under the Elizabeth Arden name, but that are also created and sold under various celebrity names such as Britney Spears, Hilary Duff and Mariah Carey.
Escada is a luxury fashion house that specializes in women’s designer clothing. Escada ids comprised of two separate clothing entities, Escada Collection and Escada Sport, in addition to Escada Accessories specializing in bags and shoes and finally licenses that enable other commissioned products such as fragrances, eyewear and children’s fashion to bear the Escada logo on them. The brainchild of Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley, Escada was founded back in1978 in Munich and has since then developed a reputation for it’s quirky off-beat designs, combinations of colour, texture and bespoke embroidery. In 1986 the company had grown to such a degree that it went public. In 1995 it launched Escada sport, a line of more casual designs in keeping with the by now very well known and highly desired Escada aesthetic. The company has a presence in about 60 different countries. Its main sales markets are North America, western and eastern Europe and Asia. It filed bankruptcy in August 2009. It was bought over by Megha Mittal, in November 2009. In 2009, Escada filed for bankruptcy having failed to raise a total of 200 Million Euros that were outstanding bonds. In late 2009 the company was bought out by the Mittal family, India’s Billionaire steel magnates, headed by Lakshmi Mittal, and to this day continues trading under the same name. The perfume arm of the business continues to be run in association with a number of well known perfumers that the label has developed a relationship with over the years. It continues to create memorable perfumes, in quirky packaging that fits in perfectly with the company’s focus on brightness, fresh designs and youthful styling.
Fendi is a high fashion label based in Italy that has come to be best known and instantly recognised for the iconic “baguette” handbags it created. The company was founded back in 1925 from a shop in Rome where it specialised in the creation and selling of bespoke fur and leather products. Today it is one of the fashion giants, a multinational company reaching into all markets where it specialises in the creation of all sorts of luxury goods and fashion items. Karl Lagerfeld is currently the creative director of the company.
Fendi controversially still deals in fur products, in 1997 this reached the media as supermodel Naomi Campbell was fire as a spokesperson for the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after modeling a fur coat at on a Fendi catwalk. Fendi also produces lines of highly desirable eyewear, timepieces that feature the use of Swiss movements, an finally fragrances. Fendi launched their first ever perfume to the market back in 1985, the memorable Fendi for Women and has since developed the line, not releasing perfumes as often as other manufacturers or labels, choosing instead to create desirable fragrances that have a reputation for being highly collectible and quickly discontinued.
Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. is a manufacturer of skin care, cosmetics, perfume and hair products based in the United States. The company was founded in 1946 by Joseph and Estée Lauder, who both commenced creating cosmetics in New York. Starting off with a line of only four products within two years they signed the company’s first department store seal with Saks of Fifth Avenue.
The company grew expanding throughout the united states for the next fifteen years and in 1960 they finally expanded offshore sealing the deal on their first international account in the London’s Harrods and next in Hong Kong. Aramis Inc.was the company’s next venture which saw them expanding to the production of fragrances. In 1968 the company created Clinique Laboratories, Inc. Clinique the first allergy tested, fragrance free cosmetic brand by Estée Lauder.
The company over years has developed a reputation for creating excellent cosmetics, skin care and fragrances and frequently use high profile celebrities, both make and female, to market their various lines. Their perfumes are also well known for their quality, affordability and have become extremely popular, with sections in department stores the world over.