The FIDM Museum is home to a robust collection of fragrance and beauty objects, from luxuriously packaged Lucien Lelong lipsticks to the suggestive glass bottle of Schiaparelli’s Shocking perfume. One name in particular among our signature scents remains relevant in today’s cosmetics industry: Estée Lauder. In honor of International Fragrance Day, we are sharing a selection of our charming Estée Lauder mini perfume compacts – tiny, collectible trinkets filled with solid scent. Introduced in 1967, production of these one-of-a-kind compacts are now an annual holiday tradition for the company.
Gift of the Annette Green Museum at the Fragrance Foundation
Estée Lauder (1908 – 2004) was a celebrated business woman and beauty connoisseur, receiving both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Legion of Honour in recognition of her contributions to the industry. Born to Hungarian immigrants in New York, she got her start in the beauty industry by selling a line of cold creams produced by her uncle, a chemist. She launched her own line of cosmetics in the early 1930s – formulating her first products by hand in her kitchen – and began selling the Estée Lauder brand at concession counters in Bonwit Teller and later Saks Fifth Avenue. Estée and her husband, Joe Lauder, became business partners and officially registered their company in 1946. A hardworking and talented professional, Lauder had an innate sense of what women wanted and needed in their cosmetics. She took the personal approach to marketing, and attributed her success in sales to satisfied customers spreading the word about their favorite products.