Note: Please understand that this website is not affiliated with the Elizabeth Arden company in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the Arden fragrances.


The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the Arden company how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back your favorite perfume!


Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the perfume, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories), who knows, perhaps someone from the company might see it.

History

Florence Nightingale Graham born in 1878 in Canada of English parents; she started training as nurse but, horrified by the sight of blood, worked in a laboratory at Squibb instead. While there, Arden spent hours in their lab, learning about skincare. She then worked - again briefly - for Eleanor Adair, an early beauty culturist, as a "treatment girl".

In 1909 Arden formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another culturist. When the partnership dissolved, she coined the business name "Elizabeth Arden" from her former partner and from Tennyson's poem "Enoch Arden". In 1912 Arden traveled to France to learn beauty and facial massage techniques used in the Paris beauty salons. She returned with a collection of rouges and tinted powders she had created. In an era when it was generally only acceptable for entertainers to wear makeup, Arden introduced modern eye makeup to North America. She also introduced the concept of the "makeover" in her salons.

She opened first beauty salon on Fifth Avenue in 1910 and first cosmetic line in 1915. Expanded into toiletries as well as perfumes and cosmetics. Changed name in 1915. At the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world. She began expanding her international operations in 1915, and started opening salons across the world. By the end of 1930's, it was said that "There are only three American names that are known in every single corner of the globe: Singer sewing machines, Coca Cola, and Elizabeth Arden."



In recognition of her contribution to the cosmetic industry, she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by the French government in 1962.

Died 21.10.66. Company acquired by Eli Lilly & Co in 1971; bought by Faberge in 1987, merged into Unilever in 1989. Company split into two smaller companies: Elizabeth Arden and Parfums International. The Elizabeth Arden side, looked after all of the Arden cosmetics and fragrances, while Parfums International created fragrances for Nino Cerruti, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Chloe.

On 31st October 2000, Unilever sold it's Arden business, to US company, FFI Fragrances for $225 million, as part of Unilever's program to shed operations that don't meet the company's strategic needs.

FFI is based in Miami Lakes, produce fragrances by Bogart and Halston. On completion of sale, FFI decided to trade under the Arden name., included in the sale was the Elizabeth Taylor brands of Passion and White Diamonds. Unilever kept control of the Parfums International brands (Cerruti, Valentino, Lagerfeld and Chloe) In 2003, Elizabeth Arden acquired the license for Gant USA fragrances from Romella.

Since Arden's death, some of the company's focus has shifted to the development of a number of fragrance lines. The company's signature fragrance is called "Red Door" named after their day spas which are called "Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons".


Elizabeth Arden Graham

Florence Nightingale Graham was born on 31 December 1878 (or 1884 as some say), and raised on 200 acres of land in Woodbridge, Ontario – a rural farmland community at the time. Her mother was English (from Cornwall) and her father William Graham, a horse-mad Scot. Florence inherited his penchant for thoroughbreds.She had a brother William and a sister, Gladys. Her mother died when she was only six and she grew up with her brothers and sisters and her father.She grew up in poverty, did not finish high school

Arden went to nursing school but by 1907 had dropped out and moved to New York with her brother William. At nursing school where she learned about creams and lotions to heal. Elizabeth began to think about using creams for a different purpose. She spent hours in her family kitchen trying to make the perfect beauty cream. She eventually dropped out of nursing school in Toronto where she started training as nurse but, horrified by the sight of blood, she quit.

Her family thought she should give up but instead in 1908, she moved to New York City, where her brother lived. e . Florence worked briefly as a bookkeeper for the E.R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company but worked in a laboratory at Squibb instead. While there, Arden spent hours in their lab, learning about skincare. She then worked - again briefly - for Eleanor Adair, an early beauty culturist, as a "treatment girl" in a shop that specialized in facial massage aided by oils and creams. Eleanor Adair. Adair was a European and the first to provide ‘facial treatments’ in the United States. Florence was 30 by then, but she looked much younger.

Soon she quit and with $6,000 borrowed from William, bought a stake in the Elizabeth Hubbard beauty shop. In 1909 Arden formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another beauty culturist. They opened their own shop on Fifth Avenue. She painted the front door a bright red to make it stand out and she decided to use the name Elizabeth Arden for her company.

When Arden proved too headstrong for a partnership, she took over allegedly choosing the new name, as lore has it, to save the expense of repainting both words on the sign. When the partnership dissolved, she coined the business name "Elizabeth Arden" from her former partner and from Tennyson's poem "Enoch Arden"..With a red door and a brass name-plate, Elizabeth Arden was born.

In 1912 Arden traveled to France to learn beauty and facial massage techniques used in the Paris beauty salons. She returned with a collection of rouges and tinted powders she had created. In an era when it was generally only acceptable for entertainers to wear makeup, Arden introduced modern eye makeup to North America. She also introduced the concept of the "makeover" in her salons.In 1914,she returned from Europe, with a collection of self-made cosmetics, and many new ideas for her growing chain of salons. She hired chemists to compound smooth, fluffy facial creams and a high-style line of cosmetics.

She opened first beauty salon on Fifth Avenue in 1910 and first cosmetic line in 1915. Expanded into toiletries as well as perfumes and cosmetics. Changed name from Elizabeth Nightingale Graham to Elizabeth Arden 1915.

In the early 1900's no respectable woman used beauty products other than facial cream. Elizabeth was very successful in selling makeup and expensive facial treatments, creams, and tonics even during those times. She developed makeup in many color that led her customers to buy her makeup.

Elizabeth married Thomas Jenkins Lewis in 1915. She thus became an American citizen. He was a banker and took over management of the cosmetics lines. She told him, "Dear, never forget one little point. It's my business. You just work here."

Also in 1915, she began expanding her international operations, and started opening salons across the world. She introduced the concept of the "makeover" in her salons. At the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world. She began expanding her international operations in 1915, and started opening salons across the world.

Elizabeth collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson, a chemist, to create a "fluffy" face cream. The success of the cream, Venetian Cream Amoretta, and corresponding lotion, Arden Skin Tonic, led to a long-lasting business relationship. Elizabeth Arden was the first to make a cosmetics commercial shown in movie houses.

While Hollywood studios turned glamour into a corporate product, Elizabeth Arden sold glamour as an attainable everyday lifestyle. In Arden’s early days in the 1920's, cosmetics were most commonly used on the stage and screen; Arden adapted and popularized it for everyday use, making it acceptable for ‘respectable’ ladies to wear eye makeup along with ‘Total Look’ coordinating lip and nail lacquer; she also pioneered skin care treatments to make the complexion itself healthy, not just mask it with product. She was a marketing genius, from the packaging to the creation of lifestyle illusions. “Every woman has a right to be beautiful,” is one of her most well-known copy lines.


In 1920, French model Cecille Bayliss, wrapped in a nun-like head covering to symbolize purity, became the Arden trademark for 20 years. Elizabeth Arden received a French patent for this image in 1931.



At the peak of her career, she had a salon in New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Maine, Arizona, Phoenix, Southhampton, Surfside, Florida, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Honolulu, Lima. Toronto, Montreal, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Johannesburg, London, Paris, Zurich, Vienna, Milan, Rome, Cannes, Madrid, Brussels, Copenhagen, The Hague, London, Ontario, Cape Town, Nassau, Tulsa, Quebec City, and Biarritz.

She launched all of them personally and she owned all of them except the one in Paris, which she gave to her sister, Gladys, Vicomtesse de Maublanc.

By the 1930's Arden still owned every single one of her more than 100 international salons, all company stock and was president and chairman of the board. Fortune magazine said at the time she “earned more money than any other businesswoman in the history of the United States.”




Her Manhattan salon The Red Door at 691 Fifth Avenue was the height of chic and of innovation and the city’s first day spa. Said the New York Times: “She soon convinced women that they could attain that mysterious thing called beauty if they permitted themselves to be steamed, rolled, massaged and bathed in wax in her sumptuously decorated salon.” During the Depression, the flagship New York salon expanded to seven floors. It is said to have been the model for the salon in the movie, The Women. “Looking like she just stepped out of an Elizabeth Arden salon” became synonymous with soignée in the 1930's.

Author Clare Booth Luce was a client and in the star-studded film adaptation of her comedy of manners The Women, the Red Door is where Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer go for ‘Jungle Red’ manicures and to do their daily calisthenics. That shade may have been blood red but both Arden’s personal and cosmetic trademark was actually pink. Convinced that pink was the most universally flattering color for women, she dressed in it head to toe and even decorated her Fifth Avenue duplex in pink. Salmon-pink lipstick was also the signature Arden shade.


On June 21, 1933, Elizabeth Arden opened her Los Angeles Salon, at 3933 Wilshire Blvd. The semi-circular building, with its black and white marble façade and signature Chinese red lacquered door, was modeled after her Fifth Avenue salon on the exterior. The interior, however, had been designed by the great MGM stylist Adrian. Under Adrian’s direction, the circular main salon had walls of jade gray, with silvery gray curtains, black and white floor (with a “symbolic star” in black), silver-gray satin corduroy covered chairs, colonial-empire style sofas, and crystal chandeliers. The third floor contained the exercise rooms as well as the “Garden of Arden,” which Adrian designed, through copious plants, vines and painted metal awnings, to look like an outdoor room. Miss Arden greeted her new customers personally on opening day.

By the end of 1930's, it was said that "There are only three American names that are known in every single corner of the globe: Singer sewing machines, Coca Cola, and Elizabeth Arden."

During World War II, Elizabeth recognized the changing needs of the American woman entering the work force. She showed women how to apply makeup and dress appropriately for careers outside the home. Over in England ‘Wrens’ (the Women’s Royal Naval Service) were issued ‘Auxiliary Red’ lipstick from Cyclax in their standard-issue service beauty kits, in cylinders specially-designed to fit uniform pockets. Back in the USA, Arden created "Montezuma Red", the precise color of the stripe and hat tassels commissioned and non-commissioned female Marine officers wore (according to rules, women could wear lipstick and nail lacquer but it had to conform precisely in its shade to their uniform red).


By 1944 the rationing of materials for the war effort meant that silk and even rayon supplies for pantyhose had dwindled, Arden ran ads for liquid stockings in the form of a new leg paint that wouldn't stain clothes or shoes called Velva Leg Film (it cost $1 a bottle and came in colors such as Sun Bronze or Sun Beige); “With this modern ‘hose,’ your legs appear slimmer, trimmer, more chiseled.” Naturally, Helena Rubinstein responded with her own Aquacade Leg Lotion.



Elizabeth loved horses. In the 1930's, she established Maine Chance Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1931, she had bought her first horse at the Fasig-Tipton sales at the Saratoga Race Course. She took excellent care of her "babies", even massaging their legs with her signature product, Eight Hour Cream.

Horse racing became her passion. In racing circles, she was known as Mrs. Elizabeth Graham. Being driven to succeed cost Arden her first, 24-year marriage to Thomas Lewis, the banker who had provided her with all-important American citizenship. Elizabeth and Thomas were divorced in 1934.

Elizabeth then briefly married her second husband, Prince Michael Evlanoff. He was a deposed Russian noble émigré. In 1934, Elizabeth Arden introduced the perfume Blue Grass. It was considered the first all-American scent.

Also in 1943, she started a fashion business with designers like, Charles James and Oscar de la Renta. Elizabeth and Michael were divorced in 1944. She stated; "I pick good women, but I haven't had any luck with my men." In the 1940's and 1950's, Elizabeth Arden built her Maine Chance Farm stable into a major force in American Thoroughbred horse racing. From 1944, she worked closely with Leslie Combs. In 1945, Star Pilot and Beaugay were the Eclipse Award colt and filly champions. In 1945, her horses winnings totaled $589,000.

In 1946, Elizabeth appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in connection with her horse racing pursuits. In 1947, her colt Jet Pilot, trained and ridden by Tom Smith and Eric Guerin won the Kentucky Derby. In 1948, she acquired the great filly Busher as a broodmare from a auction conducted by Louis B. Mayer. Busher was inducted into the Hall of Fame and ranked 40, in Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century. In 1954, her filly Fascinator, won the Kentucky Oaks.

From the 1930's through the 1960's, Elizabeth Arden was considered the most upscale cosmetic brand, with celebrated patrons including Mary, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth, Queen Mother, Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Wallis Simpson and Mamie Eisenhower.

Elizabeth Arden named her Long Pond resort and health spa Maine Chance. In 1962, she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by the French government.

But her first love was always the beauty business. And it demanded most of her time, because as her success multiplied, so did competitors: Charles Revson, Max Factor, Charles of the Ritz and Arden’s particularly hated nemesis, Helena Rubinstein. The bitter rivals jostled for the best placement at department stores like Filene’s in Boston, wooed one another’s star staff and stole chemists from one another for years (topping it off: when Arden and husband Lewis divorced, he went to work for Rubinstein).



When Arden posed for Karsh, who also famously photographed Churchill, Einstein, Bernstein, the Kennedys, Cary Grant, Anna Magnani, in a dramatic plumed hat it was one-upmanship after Salvador Dali had painted Rubinstein’s portrait (the latter was depicted as tied to a rock by a rope of emeralds). In Lindy Woodhead’s biography, War Paint, she chronicles the heated rivalry between Rubinstein and Arden and was made into a television feature last year on PBS called “The Powder and the Glory”. Woodhead affectionately calls her “a tough little Canadian” who could swear like a longshoreman.

Elizabeth was all business, and her closest competitor was, "that woman", as she called her, Helena Rubinstein. Elizabeth Arden died aged 87, on 19 October 1966, in New York City, New York, United States. She was buried under the name Elizabeth N. Graham, in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, in Sleepy Hollow, New York. At the time of her death, her estate was worth $30 to $40 million and she had over a hundred salons worldwide.

In 1971, her company was sold to Eli Lilly and Company for $38 million. In 1987, Eli Lilly and Company sold Arden to Fabergé for $657 million.

Quotes:

  • "I'm not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You're as old as you feel." -Elizabeth Arden
  • "Treat a horse like a woman and a woman like a horse. And they'll both win for you." -Elizabeth Arden
  • "Nothing that costs only a dollar is not worth having." -Elizabeth Arden
  • "There's only one Elizabeth like me and that's the Queen." -Elizabeth Arden

Perfume & Cosmetics Line

The Elizabeth Arden side, looked after all of the Arden cosmetics and fragrances, while Parfums International created fragrances for Nino Cerruti, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Chloe.

On 31st October 2000, Unilever sold it's Arden business, to US company, FFI Fragrances for $225 million, as part of Unilever's program to shed operations that don't meet the company's strategic needs.

FFI is based in Miami Lakes, produce fragrances by Bogart and Halston. On completion of sale, FFI decided to trade under the Arden name, included in the sale was the Elizabeth Taylor brands of Passion and White Diamonds. Unilever kept control of the Parfums International brands (Cerruti, Valentino, Lagerfeld and Chloe) In 2003, Elizabeth Arden acquired the license for Gant USA fragrances from Romella.

Since Arden's death, some of the company's focus has shifted to the development of a number of fragrance lines. The company's signature fragrance is called "Red Door" named after their day spas which are called "Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons".

The company's signature fragrance is called "Red Door". Other fragrance's are: Fifth Avenue, Green Tea, Provocative Woman, Mediterranean and Pretty.

In 2002, Catherine Zeta-Jones became Elizabeth Arden's corporate spokesperson. Catherine said; "I have read masses about Elizabeth Arden. She was a visionary, and I am proud to be a part of the company she created," and; "As Miss Arden said, 'to be beautiful and natural is the birthright of every woman,' and I wholeheartedly agree with her philosophy, and dare I say, conviction to her dream."

In 2003, Elizabeth Arden Graham was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Elizabeth Arden is a leading global marketer and manufacturer of prestige beauty products.

The Elizabeth Taylor's fragrances: White Diamonds, Passion, Forever Elizabeth, and Gardenia.

Mariah Carey's: M by Mariah Carey and Luscious Pink by Mariah Carey. Mariah Carey said; "It was so much fun working with Elizabeth Arden. I mean, I never expected such a huge corporation to feel like a family, and that's what it feels like to me. Like every time I work with them, they're so welcoming in terms of the concepts. If I have an idea or something that inspires me, there's never a time where they've been like 'No, we hate that.' Every single person from Arden has been fabulous."

Hilary Duff: With Love... Hilary Duff and Wrapped With Love....

The Britney Spears fragrances includes: Curious, Fantasy, Curious: In Control, Midnight Fantasy, Hidden Fantasy, Believe, Curious Heart and Circus.





Further Reading

Nancy Shuker, Elizabeth Arden: Cosmetics Entrepreneur (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Silver Burdett Press, 1989);“Lady’s Day in Louisville,” Time (May 6, 1946);

There is no definitive biography of Elizabeth Arden. In addition to Shuker, Elizabeth Arden, and “Lady’s Day in Louisville,” cited above, one may gather information from a range of sources.

See Alfred Allan Lewis and Constance Woodworth, Miss Elizabeth Arden (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1972);

Peiss, Hope in a Jar; Albro Martin, “Elizabeth Arden,”Notable American Women: The Modern Period (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1980);

Carol P. Harvey, “Elizabeth Arden,” in Frank Magill, ed., Great Lives from History: American Woman Series (Pasadena, Calif.: Salem Press, 1995); “ ‘I Am a Famous Woman in This Industry,’ ” Fortune (October 1938);

Margaret Case Harriman, “Profiles of Glamour, Inc.,” The New Yorker(April 6, 1935). Obituary in the New York Times, October 19, 1966.

1 comment:

  1. The original Blue Grass perfume was amazing. I received it as a gift about 10 years ago but it was quite different from the original Blue Grass with it's unusual afternotes.

    ReplyDelete