If it’s spring, there must be new fragrances from Coty. But the name Coty goes far beyond fragrance: It is a giant cosmetics company with annual sales of more than $4 billion, started by a visionary more than 100 years ago. François Coty was from the French island of Corsica and studied perfumery in Grasse in southern France. His Chypre (circa 1917) is one of his most famous creations among vintage-perfume aficionados. He emphasized the beauty of the bottle, designing with Baccarat and Lalique, and is also credited with bringing affordable fragrance to the masses. The brand first became popular in the U.S. when servicemen came home from World War I with Coty fragrances for their wives. The company expanded into powders and other cosmetics, making François Coty the wealthiest man in France in 1926. He died in 1934 at age 60.
Through mergers and acquisitions in the past 10 years, Coty is now a global company of 10,000 employees. Headquartered in New York, it has a presence in more than 130 countries and territories, and more than 40 brands in its portfolio. They include Rimmel colour cosmetics; Sally Hansen and O.P.I nail care; and Philosophy skincare products. The company’s 37 fragrance brands include Calvin Klein, Chloé and Marc Jacobs.
Two spring launches (pictured): Rosabotanica Balenciaga is a spicy citrus rose scent ($100, 50 mL). Endless Euphoria Calvin Klein, a fruity/floral, ‘opens with an intoxicating breeze of cherry blossoms’ ($49, 40 mL).