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Alexandra De Markoff





Summary

Alexandra de Markoff (AdeM) is a popular cosmetics house located in New York that also dabbled in perfume. The company was founded by Martinho Carlos Arruda Botelho who was born in 1904 in Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil. Botelho named it after his mother Alexandra Arruda Botelho who was born Alexandra de Markoff. She was a noble Russian woman born in 1895. The company was in and out of different ownerships throughout its lifespan. Originally, it was purchased by Charles of the Ritz which was founded by Charles Jundt in 1919. Charles of the Ritz bought AdeM in 1947 under the management of Benjamin E. Levy and Richard B. Salomon. Charles of the Ritz went under plenty of rebranding and was issued a cease and desist order from the FTC as a result of new rules passed during that time surrounding cosmetics.

Eventually, they began reaching out and buying other companies and even opening themselves up to the public. However, upon opening to the public, they suffered and struggled to maintain themselves before being bought out by Squibbles who then sold it to Yves Saint Laurent. For a time, Yves Saint Laurent managed to keep bother AdeM and Charles of the Ritz going, but eventually sold it to Revlon in 1987 after financial issues occurred. Revlon grappled with keep Charles of the Ritz going, but eventually discontinued it in 2002 but retained many of their products and put them under Revlon’s name. Alexandra de Markoff managed to continue producing products despite the constant change in management.

Though, Alexandra de Markoff started off as a cosmetics company they had plenty of nice fragrances that helped the company gain its fame as well. Notably, Enigma, Alexandra, No Regrets, and Tiara are famous even to this day. Enigma had two iterations with the original formula dating back to 1944 before being discontinued in 1946. It was then revitalized in 1972, however, the formula is not the same as the original which has disappointed some who had managed to get their hands on the original formula. Within their standard cosmetics line is the popular Countess Isserlyn with two formulas: liquid and crème make-up. With that, they also have Countess Isserlyn 364 ½ Moisturizer. Additionally, they have their special care products that include Compensation Skin Serum, Disguise for Eyes, Extra Help Gel for Lips, Throat & Décolletage Cream, Undercolor for Lips Neutral, Advanced Daily Nourisher and Vital 10.

Their Origins

Founded in the 1930s, Alexandra de Markoff is a popular design house best known for their premium cosmetics, skin care products, and perfumes. The brand is named after a noble Russian woman who was born in 1895 in Petrograd, Russia. The company was founded by her son Martinho Carlos Arruda Botelho born in 1904 in Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil named after his father of the same name. The abbreviated name for the company was Alexa Inc. and it began its own legacy of always creating premium cosmetics that actresses that needed makeup that would stay perfect even under the light they would use cosmetics produced by Alexandra de Markoff.

Being Bought: Charles of the Ritz, Yves Saint Laurent, and Revlon

Charles of the Ritz was founded in 1919 by Charles Jundt. The name Charles of the Ritz originated from him taking over Manhattan beauty salon New York City Ritz Hotel – later called the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The perfume was added to this line in 1927 and the highly successful Jean Nate line was released in 1935. In 1936, Charles of the Ritz was sold to Benjamin E. Levy and Richard B. Salomon. Under the new management, a new trademark was adopted and there were several changes such as an increased in advertisements as they released each new line of products. In 1938, a cease and desist order from the Federal Trade Commission was issued for Charles of the Ritz with regards to claims made about some of its products. Many of their products surrounded skin cleansers and lotions and makeup.

Following that, Charles of the Ritz began to expand the business as they began to buy various other companies between 1945 and 1960. After Alexandra de Markoff’s release of its first line of fragrances in 1939, the name they created for themselves as a couture leader and drew the attention of the cosmetics house Charles of the Ritz, a leading in salon-based products. AdeM saw a boom in their perfume production under their parent company Charles of the Ritz after being bought in 1947 by them.

During the 1950s, they began to go public, however, later on, that decision would prove to be detrimental. AdeM, as a result, saw a pause in production of new scents in the late 1950s and the 1960s. Immediately after, Salomon’s French connections had enabled Charles of the Ritz to distribute Dior perfumes in the USA. They also purchased Yves Saint Laurent Perfumes and cosmetics. In 1964 Charles of the Ritz merged with Lanvin forming Lavin-Charles of the Ritz but was later bought by Squibb Beechnut. In 1986 Squibb sold all Lavin-Charles of the Ritz, Inc to Yves Saint Laurent for $500 which included AdeM. Yves Saint Laurent was invested heavily in a new men’s fragrance called Jazz, however, it did not sell well and resulted in Yves selling Charles of the Ritz to Revlon in 1987.

Under Revlon, unfortunately, Charles of the Ritz lost its image and prestige. Revlon tried to save Charles of the Ritz and revive it, but they remained unsuccessful resulting in the shut-down of Charles of the Ritz in 2002, but many of their former products are under the Revlon name. Alexandra de Markoff continued, however, despite all the rebranding and repurchases it went through. They continue to formulate cosmetics, skin care products, and the perfumes.

Products

Alexandra de Markoff started off as a cosmetics company and made a name for itself because of the quality of their products. Currently, their cosmetics products consist of cleansers toner, Countess Isserlyn Crème and Liquid Makeup, eye care, moisturizers, and select products for "Special Care".

Among their cosmetics, Countess Isserlyn Liquid Makeup was created by Anatole Robbins for legendary actresses. This two-phase formula is unique and non-greasy and great for delicate and normal skin types for long wear and coverage that can last up to twelve hours. It provides a flawless finish to maintain beautiful skin. Countess Isserlyn also introduced their moisture matte make-up – Crème make-up. The souffle-like formula allows it to be applied lightly or heavier for either a semi-translucent skin perfector or full coverage respectively. It is recommended for dry, delicate, and normal skin types. It has a unique two-phase formula that provides all the coverage of the original Countess Isserlyn Liquid make-up with the addition of a matte finish. It hydrates the skin with non-oily moisturizers and conditioners alongside optical diffusers to minimalize any imperfections. The Countess Isserlyn Moisture 364 ½ is a daily moisturizer contain an SPF of 15 and optical diffusers that soften skin's imperfections by giving the skin a dewy, youthful appearance without the grease. It is a multiple action formula that maximizes moisturization that is recommended for all skin types besides oily.

Additionally, Alexandra de Markoff has its Comfort Eye Gel comprised of cucumber, citrus, and herbal extracts that indulge the eye area with a soothing gel. The gel dries quickly and is transparent and is great for all skin types. Furthermore, they have their own Advanced Daily Nourisher with multiple vitamin and minerals enriched moisture to help build strong skin and rehydrate it while sleeping. Vitamins E, C, and A are all added to the formula to protect the skin from harsh environments, and the addition of Zink, Copper, and Calcium help rejuvenate the skin and make it more vibrant. Their Complete Foaming Cleanser reacts with water immediately foaming to thoroughly cleanse the skin of surface impurities. Through the use of White Birch Extract and Ivy, it stimulates circulation and fights "oil flake". Within the Luxury Skin Toner, they have extracts of Sage, Comfrey, and Chamomile to help purify, balance, and soothe the skin whilst rehydrating it as well. The addition of Aloe Vera Gel helps to refresh and refine the skin alongside rehydrating dry, extra dry, and delicate skin types.

Included in AdeM’s special care products is Compensation Skin Serum, Disguise for Eyes, Extra Help Gel for Lips, Throat & Décolletage Cream, Undercolor for Lips Neutral, Advanced Daily Nourisher and Vital 10. The Compensation Skin Serum is a vitamin-packed "drink of water" that quickly hydrates the skin and draws maximum benefits from any daily moisturizer with a boost of Vitamins A and E and Calcium. The product is especially beneficial during seasonal changes and works for all skin types. Disguise for Eyes is a universally shaded eye shadow base that starts off creamy yet dries quickly to a smooth matte finish. Not only does it help even out skin tone and texture, but it makes eyelids look younger and less lined by blurring them with optical diffusers. It does not crease, streak or fade and can also be worn alone. Extra Help Gel for Lips does just as the product says it does. Through Pectin, a gentle exfoliator, it helps remove surface buildup that can cause lips to appear dull and lifeless. With this gel, it will rejuvenate the lips to make them look smoother and younger with just one application. The Throat and Décolletage Cream helps to smooth, moisturize and soften the neck with every application. Composed of Ginseng, Nut Oil and Mallow, it helps to improve skin texture and revitalize tired skin. Enriched with Vitamin E and Rice Bran, the formula acts as a hybrid between a cream and a gel perfect for all skin types. Additionally, there is the Undercolor for Lips Neutral that is a pre-lipstick base. It is prided for its universal shade that is great for all skin tones and contains optical diffusers to help make lines appear smooth and refined. The formula is great at preventing feathering and bleeding of any lipsticks whilst evening out skin tone. Finally, they have the Vital 10 which is a patented concentrate comprised of ten vital ingredients to help make the skin youthful and new. It is a revolutionary serum that contains optical diffusers as well and natural botanical extracts like Marigold and Centaury and contains an SPF of 6.

Alexandra de Markoff developed their own fragrances that also left a lasting impression. French Jasmine in 1946 followed by Fragrant Fern Cologne in 1948. In the 1950s before they had a break between launches, they had Tribute and Tiara produced in 1951 and 1955 respectively. They were followed by the release of No Regrets in 1994. The most lasting fragrances that are still currently being produced is Alexandra created in 1979 and Enigma. The original formula for Enigma was manufactured in 1944 before being discontinued under Alexa Inc. It is believed that the Enigma of 1972 is the reincarnation of the original one with a different formula.

Tribute is a heady oriental perfume that contains notes of oakmoss and oriental balsams. No Regrets – sub-titled “because life is too short” – created with Revlon - has a floral and fruit composition containing initial notes of galbanum, mandarin, ylang-ylang, and Osmanthus. At the heart of the formula are tuberose, orange blossom, lily, gardenia, iris root, and cactus flower with the basis of the formula containing musk, toluene, balm, and oakmoss. Alexandra is a sensual fragrance with a classical oriental and floral scent to it with French narcissus, jasmine and Moroccan rose at the heart of the formula. Alexandra was created in association with Revlon. Enigma released in 1944 under Alexa Inc. was sold until 1946. It was a musky, oriental perfume that was mysterious and charming. It was offered in two strengths: the Extrait de Parfum, which is a pure perfume extract, and a light perfume. The release of the 1972 Enigma is a woody, oriental perfume with notes of amber, bergamot, carnation, coriander, green aldehydes, woods, spices, patchouli, oakmoss, herbs and more. The assortment of ingredients gave it the unique smell that has gifted it its popularity amongst people.

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