Designer perfume innovator dies aged 77

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Perfume developer George Friedman, who worked for a number of designer fragrances, has sadly passed away from a heart attack at his New York home, aged 77.

Friedman was one of the innovators behind the concept of marketing perfume under an established designer’s name as a novel approach, which proved to be immensely successful.

Whilst working at Estee Lauder, Fridman pioneered the idea to release a fragrance under the Ralph Lauren name, before leaving and setting up Warner Cosmetics when the idea was refused.

“George was the visionary,”​ Robert Ruttenberg who set up Warner Cosmetics with Friedman and the designer Ralph Lauren.said in an interview. “He connected us to Picasso, he connected us with Ralph, he connected us to Vanderbilt. Yes, he was the facilitator and the creator.”

Warner Cosmetics created fragrances such as Polo, Lauren, Paloma and Vanderbilt. When Vanderbilt was introduced in 1982, Warner Cosmetics expected sales to be $25 million to $30 million in its first year. “We did $72 million in the first 12 months,”​ said. Ruttenberg.

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