Armand Petitjean founded Lancome in France in 1935 as a perfume house. At first, the company deliberately eschewed advertising, preferring to grow its reputation by word of mouth. Petitjean was particularly insistent on promoting the Frenchness of his new company, equating that national identity with quality and craftsmanship as well as a certain je ne sais quoi — the indefinable spirit of France itself.

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