|Fragrance name||Year of launch|
|An English Garden||1945|
|Charles of the Ritz||1977|
In 1932, at the age of 24, Richard B. Salomon was named president of Charles of the Ritz, Inc. Twenty years later, he was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Lanvin-Charles of the Ritz, by then a $60- million firm. Mr Salomon was an internationally known businessman, philanthropist and humanitarian who served as chancellor of Brown University from 1979-88.
Charles of the Ritz expanded distribution from upscale salons into upper-end department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. In the early 1950', he was said to have mocked Estee Lauder and her practice of free samples and gifts with purchase, saying "you will never go anywhere in this industry."
In 1963, Ritz acquired 80% of the house of Yves Saint Laurent. Ritz launched an entire line of skincare and makeup under the Yves Saint Laurent Beaute brand.
In 1964 Charles of the Ritz merged with the Lanvin group. It was from then on known as Lanvin-Charles of the Ritz.
In 1969 the legendary makeup artist Way Bandy joined Charles of the Ritz as the salon director of makeup.
In 1977, Yves Saint Laurent Beaute launched Opium.
In 1978, Ritz introduced a new women's fragrance, Enjoli, designed (as noted in its popular television commercials) as "the eight hour perfume for the 24-hour woman"; the commercial's theme song was a remake of Peggy Lee's 1963 hit song I'm A Woman. In 1984 Charles of the Ritz launched the immensely successful fragrances based on American television drama Dynasty characters Forever Krystle and Carrington.
In 1986, Squibb sold the entire division back to Yves Saint Laurent for $500 million, who invested heavily in a new men's frangrance called Jazz. Jazz was not particularly successful, and, coupled with the October 1987 market crash, Yves Saint Laurent sold Charles of the Ritz Incorporated (excluding Yves Saint Laurent Beaute) to Revlon in 1987. Revlon, still reeling from its unsuccessful takeover attempt of Gilette in 1983, declared they were interested in several acquisitions, and along with Charles of the Ritz, they bought Max Factor, Almay, Halston, Borghese, and Germaine Monteil.
Revlon could not manage the brand and it began to slip in image and prestige. In 1991 they launched a line called Express, aimed at a more savvy customer. The brand became associated with lower-end stores like JC Penney and maintained a focus on the "mature" customer. After several years of unsuccessful revival attempts, (including an endorsement deal with Kathie Lee Gifford for their Timeless line of products), and facing massive debt, Revlon put (among many others) the line for sale, but had no takers. Analysts suggested the very name - Charles of the Ritz - lacked consumer recognition.
Revlon finally shut down Charles of the Ritz in 2002. Many of the former Ritz fragrances, such as Enjoli, are still sold today under the Revlon name.
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