Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A cosmetic's classic : Charles of the Ritz.

We all have our favourite brands that we know and love, but what of the brands of days gone? The pioneers who adorned make up dressers, handbags and counters. Charles of the Ritz is one of those iconic U.S brands whose infamous powder bars and perfumeries made them a cosmetic favourite and a vintage brand to look out for.

Charles of the Ritz was founded by hairdresser Charles Jundt who became the owner of the New York City Ritz beauty salon, lending a natural name to his soon to be beauty brand. He launched his own cosmetic line in 1919 following on to add the Charles of the Ritz name to his products during 1926 and so an iconic company was born.

Charles of the Ritz became known for their fragrances and beauty products, particularly their custom blend powders which saw them open powder bars in department stores across the U.S. Their powder bars allowed customers to have their own blend of face powder made to match their complexion, this trend caught on and saw them opening smaller versions of the powder bars worldwide.

Their iconic products certainly caught on and saw them expanding to a mass manufactured version of the custom blend powder to buy alongside a compact powder version. The range expanded beyond that to an abundance of cosmetics and skincare products and even more so when they merged with Lanvin allowing them to create more products under the brand.

During this time it was their perfumes that really made them stand out, their signature Charles of the Ritz for women fragrance was launched in 1977, a floral fragrance with notes of bergamot, orange blossom and jasmine which became part of their main range of perfumes. However it was the launch of their Enjoli perfume the following year that really caught the industries attention, described as "the eight hour perfume for the 24-hour woman".

This heady floral fragrance was up against Yves Saint Laurent's Opium which was launched the same year (a company which they were actually joint owners of from 1963).

It was a change in ownership that set things in motion for the brand in the late 1980's, ironically being bought out by the very company that they co-owned in the 1960's, Yves Saint Laurent, this ultimately led to their downfall following the poorly received launch of their Jazz men's fragrance that same year. They were shortly thereafter sold onto Revlon undergoing several re-vamps and revival's over the years, but this unfortunately led to the demise of the label and in 2002 Charles of the Ritz was shut down.

One things certain, that they became an iconic beauty label of their era, particularly during the 1960's-1970's with the expansion of their ranges, you can still find beautiful vintage advertisements on the web for their products from this time. If your lucky you can still find several of their original fragrances under the Revlon label such as Enjoli which is now a Revlon label perfume, savvy shoppers can also find a few lucrative vintage finds on ebay and discounted beauty retailers, their deco styled face powders are certainly a collectable to adorn your beauty table if you can get your mitts on one.

Images: Pinterest, Fragrantica & Buy me beauty.

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