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Coty crafted a genius marketing campaign by wrapping a quality product in beautiful packaging at a fair price. This made him a millionaire in 1904 through his first fragrance, La Rose Jaqueminot. A native Corsican, Coty studied perfume under a pharmacist. Coty sought to shake the foundations of the industry, and he did just that by partnering with jeweler Rene Lalique to market perfume packaged in ornate bottles. One of Coty's early perfumes, L'Origan was sold in intricate bottles with gilded labels.

Coty Inc. was among the first to market these perfumes to middle and working class women. The marketing ploy was a success, skyrocketing the company to international fame. The fragrance that truly placed Coty on the map in 1917 was Chypre, a concoction of oakmoss, bergamot and labdanum. It became a best seller, and it was a perfume other companies sought to emulate. Coty's international standing allowed him to set up shop in the United States after World War I, and he established subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and Romania. Divorce and the Wall Street Crash of 1929 put a heavy strain on his fortune, and he died in 1934. His former wife sold the company to Pfizer in 1963. Pfizer sold Coty perfumes exclusively through retailers and drug stores until the 1990s. Joh. A. Benckiser Gmbh acquired the Coty brand in 1992, operating it under two departments, Coty Prestige and Coty Beauty.

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