The History of Lancôme

The world of perfume is full of different brands, competing to introduce the best perfumes for both men and women. Lancôme is one such brand that produces and distributes perfume internationally. L’Oreal is its parent company, which specializes in making skincare and makeup products. Lancôme has with time successfully managed to make a name for itself through constant innovation and optimum quality. Since its introduction in 1964, L’Oreal has utilized strategic marketing tactics to tap the fragrance market and has until now managed to survive. Today, it stands as a premium fragrance brand that values quality as its top priority. Let us explore Lancôme’s history and process of making it one of the best luxury perfume brand.

Lancome’s Founding

Lancome was founded in France by Armand Petitjean in 1935. In 2010, Lancôme celebrated its 75th year of being in business. Armand was very clear when he came up with the idea of a luxury perfume brand. He had a vision of making a perfume that would spread French elegance all around the world. Furthermore, the name “Lancôme” was based on the remains of Le Chateau de Lancôme castle. The golden rose displayed on its products represent the roses existing in the area. Combined, the brand was bound to be a success as it featured history and identity, hard to forget.

Prominent celebrities across the globe have represented and supported the brand as well. These include makeup artists, supermodels, and actresses, etc. In addition to that, the new wave of fashion designers had also joined hands with the brand including Proenza Schouler. Proenza Schouler was a duo who had been inspired by Hypnose fragrance by Lancôme and even went on to create a dress as well.

History of Lancôme

Lancôme’s journey as a premium fragrance luxury brand began when it launched its first five perfumes in Brussels. These perfumes were called Bocages, Tendre Nuit, Conquete, Tropiques, and Kypre. Opposed to what many had thought, the perfumes did quite well and for once turned all the attention towards them. The reason behind that was simple.

Lancôme made use of the deco style art that took off during the 1930s. He had used the minimalistic art design to create beautiful bottles for his complex perfumes. One could say that Lancôme was quite clever to use the idea but why wouldn’t he? The 1930s was a period when people had a love for arts and would spend on anything that they found unique and of value.

The same technique was used by Lancôme while designing his perfume bottles. He was well aware of the people’s taste and wanted to introduce something that creates value rather than just good aroma. Today, Lancôme perfumes are made with the help of some of the best perfumers in the world. That is because Lancôme does not believe in comprising when it comes to quality and remains strictly true to the vision of reaching out as far as it can.

The Story of Lancome

When Armand came up with the idea of introducing a luxury fragrance brand, he was already fifty years old. Furthermore, he had left several careers, lives, and countries behind. However, he gathered every experience and preserved it for what he dreamt of next. Armand was lucky with his experiences. He had lived in South America, dealt with the Europeans, and even worked with the French Foreign Office. So, it was evident that Armand was aware of the taste prevailing in these countries. Lastly, it was Armand’s collaboration with Francois Coty, who introduced him to the world and art of perfumes. Inspired, Armand began his journey to create a separate perfume brand.

Although Francois Coty was termed as the father of perfumery as he had delivered rare and exclusive perfumes to the world. However, Armand had a different opinion about him. In his eyes, Francois had committed a crime, which was that in search of volume, he had compromised the quality of his perfumes. Therefore, Armand thought it would be best to produce fragrances that were either prestige or nothing. Furthermore, Armand was not worried about support as well. He had several colleagues ready to join him on his journey. They entrusted Armand with his leadership qualities and set out to make history.

While the team was busy making its first products, Armand was thinking of a name. At first, he thought of using his village’s name, where he was born but it was not feminine enough. The name should be truly French and represent history. Finally, Guillaume d’ Ornano came up with the word Lancôme. Now, the only thing that needed to be done was to remove the letter ‘S’ and Lancôme was born. It was easy to pronounce and represented France as well.

Now that the name had been finalized, the Armand had another important task at hand and that was to decide the launch date. It should be mentioned that Armand was very careful with the perfumes during the manufacturing process. He did not like the idea of American Brands taking over the beauty industry. Therefore, he wanted to come up with perfumes that captured both men and women and catered to each demand of the time.


Although Armand believed that his brand would be such that it would not be needing advertisements but Lancôme is one of the top advertisers in the beauty industry. It could be seen in various publications such as French Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Furthermore, top photographers including Brigitte Lacombe, Nick Knight, Mario Testino, and Mario Sorrenti, etc. have shot its advertisements.

In 2012, Lancôme premiered an advertisement featuring Betty Boop, a cartoon icon. Then, in 2017, Lancôme partnered with Perfect Corp, which helped develop an app through which customers can try makeup and make a direct purchase as well.

Collaboration with Makeup artists

Over the years, Lancôme has joined hands with a variety of makeup artists. Fred Farrugia was one of them who had come up with 13 different color collections as a makeup artist. Furthermore, the likes of Sandy Linter and Aaron De Mey have collaborated with the brand as well. Both Sandy and Aaron are top makeup artists who have continuously represented Lancôme. Moreover, Sandy is the face behind “Beauty At Every Age Expert” and Aaron is Lancôme’s National Artistic Director for Makeup.

Final Word

As Lancôme’s journey as a premium luxury fragrance brand continues, the French cultural values as well as the idea of beauty and essence remain at the heart of the brand. L’Oreal has been able to take the vision and mission of Armand further while reserving exclusive discoveries only for Lancôme. Today, Lancôme has extended its reach to every woman across the globe and continues to set the bar for premium quality fragrances.