Jacques Courtin-Clarins founded the cosmetics brand Clarins in 1954 when he was a medical student. He noticed that many female patients reported various skin problems and he seized the opportunity to set up his own cosmetics business. The brand name, Clarins, was not part of his surname, but the name of a character he played in a school play several years ago. Eventually, he changed his surname from Courtin to Courtin-Clarins.

Clarins began their successful journey with the sales of perfumed body oils that were made from botanical ingredients while advising their customers to massage their skins in order to treat existing skin conditions. The product range was expanded rapidly when the business took on. Clarins was the first cosmetics brand to manufacture oils, creams and other products from natural ingredients only, which has been part of the company's appeal since the 1950s.

In 1970 Clarins, by then a renowned cosmetics brand in France, started to break into international markets. The company's famous concept of using natural raw materials only (which, at that time, was almost unheard of in the beauty sector's corporate head offices) proved an instant hit with customers from all over the world. In 1981 Clarins had conquered the American market and, due to ever increasing sales figures, they set up the brand's first subsidiary in the USA. By the end of 2011 19 Clarins subsidiaries were reported to be operating from different countries all over the world.

By 1990 Clarins was one of the best selling and successful high end cosmetic and beauty brands. Their product portfolio was grown significantly and the company offers a range of moisturizers, serums, cleansers, toners and other products for facial care, body care products, sun creams and fake tans, make-up and nail care products, fragrances and several products for men.

Clarins offer a range of fragrances that are effective treatment fragrances. Eau des Jardins is a refreshing fragrance that is packed with moisturizing agents. Eau Dynamisante firms and tones skin while it offers a dynamic, fresh and invigorating scent. Clarins Sunshine Fragrance oozes "radiance, refreshment and fun".

The Clarins Frangrance Group, established in the 1990s, is Clarins' prestige fragrance branch. Clarins produces fragrances for several fashion and lifestyle brands. Among them are Porsche Design, Azzaro, Thierry Mugler, Swarovski, Zadig & Voltaire and David Yurman.

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