In 1967, Estee Lauder produced her first ‘solid perfume’, Boutique Oval, which back in the day sold for $10. Since then, they’ve come a long way in terms of design and technique but still use traditional hand enamelling and hand applied crystals.
They’re labour intensive and the current prices reflect that. However, there is a rampant collectible market for these beautiful items: I have a few, but quickly got out-priced on the rarer solids such as the Ivory Series Imperial Foo Dog (now sells for in excess of $350 although in 1974 cost $13.50). Estee Lauder compacts, using the same decorative techniques are also collectables in their own right.
Collaborations with jewellery designer, Jay Strongwater, have sent sales stratospheric with a new collection each Christmas and solids becoming more and more flambouyant and intricate with each passing year. You name it, it’s been immortalised in crystals and gold; stetsuns, easter bonnets, Saks shoppers, coffee cups, cakes (lots of cake), kittens, poodles and pianos!
A special set exclusively for Harrods is sold every year and the latest one celebrates 50 years since the first Lauder counter opened in the London Store.
Current collections include the Jewelled Lantern (£230) and on the compact side, Jewelled Blossom Lucidity Compact (£85).
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