Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but Lancome has been helping make women more beautiful since 1935.

Founded by Armand Petitjean and Guillaume d’Ornano in France, Lancome was originally a perfume house.  The name Lancome was chose by d’Ornano’s wife Elisabeth after the Lanscome Forest in the La Brenne region of France. The roses located in that forest also inspired the rose symbol of the company.

Old Beauty

Lancome launched its fragrances at the World’s Fair in Brussels in 1935. It’s fragrances quickly became a stand out that were popular not just in France, but spread across the world. With names like Kypre, Tendre Nuit, and Tropiques, the fragrances of Lancome became synonymous with extravagance and elegance. 

In 1936, Lancome launched its first beauty cream called Nutrix. The beauty care line soon became a backbone of the Lancome brand, all infused with the luscious fragrances that made the company famous. 

Founder Armand Petitjean originally insisted that the company would never advertise, however the Lancome of today is one of the largest advertisers of luxury beauty products in the world. The models of Lancome now grace the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. 

Famous Faces

Lancome was acquired by L’Oreal in 1964, at which point it became a luxury subsidiary of that global brand. Under L’Oreal, Lancome has increased its niche nature and expanded its line of beauty products. The company has flowered as part of L’Oreal, increasing its footprint across the globe.

To promote its products, Lancome recruits some of the biggest actresses from around the world to represent its fragrances and beauty products. Drew Barrymore, Kate Winslet, Emma Watson, Lupita Nyong’o, and Zendaya. The company has for the first time expanded to male beauty products and fragrances, with Clive Owen signing on to be its first male representative. 

Lancome ran into some controversy when it hired Hong Kong pro-democracy singer Denise Ho to perform as part of a promotional appearance in 2016. Despite protests that forced the closure of some Lancome shops in Hong Kong, the company went on with the relationship with Ho. 

Social media and digital marketing have become centerpieces for Lancome in the digital age. It’s also partnered with Airbnb for innovative partnerships to expand its presence. 

Doesn’t Get Old

One of the central focuses of Lancome’s products has consistently been to reduce the aging process. Serums that improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles like Dreamtone are among its most prominent products. In addition, Lancome has patented several beauty components. Most notably is LR 2412, which evens skin tone and is derived from Jasmine flowers. 

Lancome is also widely renowned for its mascara and its skin cleansers. Despite fierce rivalry from companies like Dior, Sephora, and others, Lancome continues to maintain its position as a top beauty brand. With over five billion dollars in estimated annual revenue, this company is an old world holder of beauty with new world profits and relevance.