In 1909, Eugène Paul Louis Schueller, a young French chemist of German descent, developed a hair dye formula called Oréale. Schueller formulated and manufactured his own products, which he then decided to sell to Parisian hairdressers. On 31 July 1919, Schueller registered his company, the Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux (Safe Hair Dye Company of France). The guiding principles of the company, which eventually became L’Oréal, were research and innovation in the field of beauty. In 1920, the company employed three chemists. By 1950, the team was 100 strong; by 1984 was 1,000 and is nearly 82,000 today.
L’Oréal got its start in the hair-colour business, but the company soon branched out into other cleansing and beauty products. L’Oréal currently markets over 500 brands and thousands of individual products in all sectors of the beauty business: hair colour, permanents, hair styling, body and skin care, cleansers, makeup and fragrance. In the years L’Oréal build a large portofolio of brands like: Lancôme, Helena Rubinstein, Biotherm, Kiehl’s, Giorgio Armani Beauté, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Viktor & Rolf, Cacharel, Maison Margiela and Ralph Lauren Fragrances, to name just a few.
And now L’Oréal is in exclusive negotiations to acquire perfume brands Mugler and Azzaro from Clarins Group, the French beauty giant announced this morning.
The perfume category is at the heart of our global strategy for growth at L’Oréal Luxe. In this context, we would be thrilled to welcome Mugler and Azzaro: these signatures, with a long history in fashion and olfaction, would perfectly complete our portfolio of brands.
Cyril Chapuy, President of L’Oréal Luxe
L’Oréal has not confirmed the financial details of the planned acquisitions, other than that the deal is currently under discussion and subject to approval from regulators.
The purchase is expected to be completed later in the year.
L’Oréal’s prestige perfume has seen strong growth in recent years with the commercial success of Lancôme’s La Vie est Belle (one of the best-selling fragrances in Europe and the US), Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opiumand Giorgio Armani’s Sì Passione and Acqua di Giò Absolu.
The firm’s Luxe Division grew by 10% in 2018. However, the brand owner has seen its mass brands category struggle last year, particularly in Western Europe.