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Coty

Coty perfumes, has been producing French perfumes for over a decade. One of the single most influential perfume-makers in the world, Coty is a French Perfume Legend.

Francois Spotumo was the founder of Coty perfumes, an orphan from Corsica, who had been raised by his grandmother.  Francois took his formal training in Grasse.  He conjured up a variation of his mother’s name, Coti, to use as the name of the company, borrowed some francs from his grandmother, and moved it all to Paris.  His first perfume launch was in 1904 with La Rose Jacqueminot.  He designed perfume for the wealthy aristocrats, but his genius was in making perfume accessible with reasonable pricing for the French mademoiselle with a few francs to spend, and he put it all in cute packaging!   This approach was innovative.  Perfume in France was always seen as a luxury item for the wealthy, and Coty changed that by actively marketing to every French woman.  And the feminine public loved it. He expanded into other cosmetics and built an empire.   Coty once said on his approach to selling perfume “Give a woman the best product to be made, market it in the perfect flask, beautiful in its simplicity yet impeccable in its taste, ask a reasonable price for it, and you will witness the birth of a business the size of which the world has never seen."

His French empire expanded out into the world when soldiers returning home after World War I bought his perfumes and took them home to their sweethearts, mothers, and wives.

Some of his most famous perfumes are Coty Chypre from 1917, Coty L’Origan from 1905, Coty Emeraude from 1921 and Coty Paris from 1922.  Many of these early French perfume legends are either no longer made or have been reformulated so much as to be almost unrecognizable.

Coty struggled during World War II, U.S. sales dropping from $50 million a year to $3.5 million.  They cut prices in an effort to staunch the financial bleeding, but they never really recovered the prestige the line had once known. After Coty’s death, the line went through a number of buy-outs to become the corporate giant it is today. 

Today Coty makes almost no new perfumes under its brand name, but instead creates perfumes for celebrities under Coty Prestige.