Elizabeth Arden

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About Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden, founded in 1911, is an iconic brand of cosmetics and fragrances. Elizabeth Arden was born as Florence Nightingale Graham. Born in Ontario, Canada, Elizabeth was a dropout from nursing school. While working as a bookeeper in her brother’s pharmaceutical company, Elizabeth spent long hours in their lab and that’s where she developed her interest in skincare.

Arden's initial foray into business was around 1909, when she partnered with a culturist Elizabeth Hubbard. Later the partnership dissolved, and she took the business name of Elizabeth Arden, inspired by her former partner and from Tennyson's poem "Enoch Arden". Later she travelled to Paris to learn more about beauty treatments and make up. On coming back, Elizabeth got together with a chemist called A. Fabian Swanson to make a fluffy face cream, Arden Skin Tonic and such other beauty products that were unheard of in that time and that revolutionized the cosmetics industry as well as the way women applied make up. Elizabeth brought in new, scientific formulations into her cosmetics, creating foundations that matched the skin tone of a person. It was Elizabeth who first brought out the idea of co-coordinating colours of nail paints, lips and cheek.

The company started international operations in 1915 and very soon began earning global popularity. It opened several salons all over the world. The line of fragrances was launched in 1934, with Blue Grass being the first one. The perfume is touted as the first truly American scent and became a great success. By the 1960s, Elizabeth Arden had become one name for luxury makeup and fragrance and had famous personalities like Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich as her patrons. Even the royal ladies of Britan including Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary herself became users of Elizabeth Arden.

After the death of Elizabeth Arden, the company was sold to Eli Lily in 1970 and thereafter changed many hands. In 1990, Elizabeth Arden was purchased by Unilever PLC, however in 2001, Unilever sold the cosmetic brand to FFI Fragrances, which assumed its name as that of the brand and came to be known as the present day’s Elizabeth Arden.

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