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Facts about the Elizabeth Arden empire

Updated on August 4, 2012
Elizabeth Arden (1939)
Elizabeth Arden (1939) | Source
bluegrass by Elizabeth Arden
bluegrass by Elizabeth Arden | Source
after five by Elizabeth Arden
after five by Elizabeth Arden | Source

Born in 1884 to William and Susan Graham who migrated from Cornwall, United Kingdom to Woodbridge, Ontario Canada (Florence) was a defiant young woman who dropped out of nursing school to pursue a different direction. Joining her brother in New York City she had a different outlook on her life. Beginning her career in 1912, 'Elizabeth' borrowed $6,000 from her brother to open the first store on 5th Avenue. Determined to success she worked endlessly to create her empire. At one time Florence 'Elizabeth' was known to be the wealthiest Canadian woman in the world. She was the Oprah Winfrey of her time. When she passed away, not only did she leave a legacy; but she also left interesting facts about her life for us to enjoy.

So who is the infamous Elizabeth Arden?

Elizabeth Arden was born Florence Nightingale Graham in 1884. An avid reader of poetry Florence coined the name ‘Elizabeth Arden’ in 1909 creating the last name from ‘Tennyson’s’ poem ‘Enoch Arden’ and long-time friend Elizabeth Hubbard.

Elizabeth Arden perfume was first introduced in 1912 when she collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson to create the first facial cream.

Elizabeth Arden was the first woman to create commercials that were shown in the movie theaters.

She was the creator of the first red lipstick that was used by the women in the Armed Forces; Montezuma red actually matched their uniforms.

She introduced and pioneered music for yoga exercises. She believed that implementing music into exercise would aide women with understanding the relaxation techniques that were implemented into yoga.

In 1943 Elizabeth took another direction with her Empire by creating a fashion house with Oscar De La Renta and Charles James.

She was the first woman to race thoroughbred horses in the United States in the 1930’s.

She was the sole owner of 39 salons, domestically and internationally with the exception of one which she gave to her sister Gladys which was located in Paris.

Elizabeth Arden was known as one of the most upscale cosmetic brands in the industry and she became a household name. There were many famous people who flocked to Elizabeth Arden for all of their cosmetic needs. Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Jacqueline Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth the II, and the one and only Mamie Eisenhower among others.

Elizabeth Arden was also innovative with advance technology and ahead of her time. The company was the first to introduce capsule packaging, eight hour skin cream, skin illuminating complex and facial peels.

The company also has a no-animal testing policy on all of their products that are sold today.

Elizabeth Arden perfume and cosmetics have come a long way from 1912; but the original product ‘Blue Grass’ is still sold online and in department stores 88 years later. When (Florence) passed away her business was not completely in order and her Estate was heavily taxed. Her family members took on the $10 million dollar deficit selling properties and belongings in order for the company to survive. Today Elizabeth Arden Inc. continues to have record breaking sales and is a part of History in the fashion and cosmetic industry.


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    • AEvans profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      SkeetyD: She was an amazing! Starting small and creating an empire all of us could learn something from her too! We are women, hear us roar! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have learnt so much from this hub. I love Elizabeth Arden perfume but I no had no clue about the woman behind the perfume. In fact she was much more than the-woman-behind-the-perfume. Wonderful hub! Voted up and shared

    • AEvans profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Deb Welch: Elizabeth Arden was truly an amazing woman and her empire not only is worth a lot of money; but she worked hard to get it where it is today. :)

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 

      6 years ago

      I never knew anything about Elizabeth Arden, it's unusual that the media never capitalized on her history with films or magazines/ books - a fantastic lady. I have used her products but rather pricey. Useful and Interesting Hub.

    • AEvans profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Cogerson: She was amazing woman and all of us could learn a thing or two from her. Thanks for reading the hub and thank you for the congrats on the Hubbie award! :0

    • Cogerson profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia

      An amazing tribute to Elizabeth Arden..I was only vaguely aware of her before reading this hub.....but after reading this hub... I realize further reading is required on her....job well done.

      Congrats on winning a 2012 Hubbie Award...I am very happy that you won the award.

    • AEvans profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      mours shields: She was amazing and I have always enjoyed reading , researching and writing history. :)

    • profile image

      mours sshields 

      6 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      A nice tribute to a very successful woman! I know she's had some very nice products!!

      Marcia Ours

    • AEvans profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      nmdonders: Now we can see why. I remember mom liking Arden to and now I can truly understand. :)

    • AEvans profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      La Thing: Isn't she an amazing woman? She was the Oprah of her time and I thought Coco was someone. Thanks for the vote up.:)

    • nmdonders profile image

      Nira Perkins 

      6 years ago

      Wow, that was so interesting. I'm very happy for her and her success. My grandma was always a fan of Elizabeth Arden.

    • LaThing profile image


      6 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      This is fascinating! I have used her products while Living in England.... There are wonderful, but didn't know the woman behind it all! Thanks for the info. Voting up and interesting.....


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