Lightyears Collection

The Early Years

In 1862, Joseph Albert Ponsin patented a whitening face powder for actresses. He set up shop at 28 Place Vendôme and employed Alexander-Napoleon Bourjois as foreman. Bourjois is credited with expanding the business and developing a powder blush. Their products were a great success with women of the theater. The powder blush, it was said, saved them from "greasy, pore-clogging formulas with thick, cakey textures," which were uncomfortable to wear and hard on the skin.

In 1868 Bourjois purchased the business from Ponsin and continued to work on its expansion. In 1890, Emile Orosdi injected capital (125,000 francs) into the business for a 50 percent share. A. Bourjois & Cie was formed. Bourjois contributed his formulas and good will. In 1893, at the age of 47, Bourjois died.

Orosdi continued the business with Bourjois' widow, Caroline Bourjois; then with her son-in-law. Then he bought out their share.

On July 30, 1898. Orosdi put the business into a 50-50 partnership with Ernest Wertheimer, who, it is said, he met on his daily walks to the office. Wertheimer contributed 250,000 francs and became director. While the Bourjois trade name continued to be used, the company became E. Wertheimer & Cie. In 1909 the 50-50 partners launched their own department store, Galeries Lafayette.

Perfumes By Bourjois, 1891-1943

Louis XV (1891)  
La Rose Pompon (1907)  
Manon Lescaut (1907)  
Mimi Pinson (1907)  
Ashes Of Roses (1909)  
Etoile d'Amour (1910)  
Marguerite Carre (1910)  
Liprubi (1911)  
Mandarine (1911)   
La Violette (1912)   
Talis (1912)  
Ashes Of Sandal (1913)  
Ashes Of Sandal (1913)  
Ashes Of Violets (1913)  
Karess (1921)  
Currant-Rose (1923)  
Heus Persane (1925)  
Mon Parfum (1925)  
Femina (1928)  
Je T'aime (1928)  
Evening In Paris (1928)Ernest Beaux 
L'Avenue (1929)  
Rendezvous (1929)  
Spirit Of Paris (1930)  
Infralet (1931)  
Springtime In Paris (1931)  
Ultra Violet (1931)  ;
Ultralet (1931)  
Number Thirty (1933)  
Flamme (1935)  
Kobako (1936)Ernest Beaux 
Mais Oui (1938)  
Courage (1939)  
Folies Bergere (1943)  
Beau Belle (1949)  
Glamour (1953)  
Premier Muguet (1955)Ernest Beaux 

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  • Carol Gilligan, 03/29/2022. While cleaning out my father in laws house we came upon a letter written to his sister from the Parfumerie Bourjois inc. New York - dated September 7, 1948 from a personnel manager, E.D.Miller. Addressed to the graduate June 1948 class for job opportunities. Said it was in cosmetic business for over 80 years. Listed all their benefits.

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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.