Bobbi Brown Perfume House History Perfume

History of fragrance and perfumes by Bobbi Brown Perfume House History

Excerpt from an editorial by David DeNicolo, The Face Makers.

Bobbi Brown earned her stripes as a makeup artist in an age when glamazons roamed the earth. The late '80s and early '90s weren't known for their subtlery, and Brown, with her training in theater makeup, could do artifice with the best of them. But it wasn't what she wanted to look like herself, and the contradiction began to gnaw at her. She wanted makeup that enhanced but didn't try to transform, that recognized the individual both as she looked on the surface (imperfections and all) and, more importantly, as she felt under the skin. In short, she wanted makeup that didn't look like makeup, at least not anything at that time in the marketplace.

So she made it herself, starting with one pinkish brown lipstick that, she said, "looked like lips, only better," and that was called, unpretentiously enough, Brown Lip Color. She followed with nine more variations of the shade, and in 1991 the ten lipsticks went on sale at Bergdorf Goodman as Bobbi Brown Essentials. She hoped to sell 100 in the first month. She sold 100 in the first day.

As must as women loves the colors, it was Brown's underlying philosophy of self-acceptance that really struck a chord. "Beauty isn't about looking perfect," she said. "It's about celebrating your individuality." To this day, she has no interest in chasing trends. The look she popularized has come to be known as "no-makeup-makeup," with its emphasis on neutrals and easy application (flawless technique not required). With her keen understanding of women's busy lives and her steadfast belief that beauty starts with self-esteem, Bobbi Brown made her signature look a classic -- and her products, to many women, as essential as their name.

Makeup artist, Bobbi Brown
Makeup artist, Bobbi Brown


  1. DeNicolo, David. "The Face Makers." Allure Mar. 2011: 226-231.

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