Shisseido is a Japanese cosmetics and hair-care company founded in 1872. Although the company is Japanese, its name is derived from a passage in the classic Chinese text I Ching. A translation of the name reads, "Praise the virtues of the great Earth, which nurtures new life and brings forth new values."
Arinobu Fukuhara, a former Head Pharmacist for the Japanese Navy, founded Apothecary Shiseido in 1872. After a visit to the United States, he added a soda fountain to the pharmacy. This was the beginning of the "East meets West" concept which would serve the future cosmetics giant so well.
Arinobu's son Shinzo was the Shiseido company's first president. Shinzo studied Eastern medicine at a Japanese university, then traveled to America to study pharmacology at Columbia. A world traveler and a camera buff, he traveled to Paris in 1915, where he first encountered photography as an art, according to the Western aesthetic. Shinzo would go on to become a celebrated photographer, and his unique background, incorporating both Eastern and Western traditions, helped move Shiseido from its origins as an apothecary to the cosmetics corporation it has become today.
Shiseido was the first company to develop a softening lotion in the liquid form with which we are familiar today. Shiseido also introduced the concept of color cosmetics to Japan with its seven colors of face powder, which revolutionized the industry at a time when white face powder was the norm in Japan. By 1923, the original shop had expanded to multiple outlets, and it became a publicly-held stock company in 1927.
The company's original expansion began in Taiwan and Singapore in 1957. It crossed the pond to Hawaii in 1962, which provided entrance into the American market and led to the formation of Shiseido Cosmetics America. European expansion began in 1968, followed by New Zealand opening up Oceania in 1971.
Today, Shiseido offers products under approximately 18 different brands throughout the world. Among them are the Shiseido skin care line, NARS cosmetics, Joico hair care products, and perfumes produced under the Shiseido label, through division Beaute Prestige International and under the Serge Lutens label.
Zen was the first fragrance offered by Shiseido. The company produces it today in two formulas: the original Zen, featuring the packaging from 1965 and a similar formula, and a new version of Zen introduced in 2007. A men's Zen was introduced in 2009. Shiseido's former employee, Serge Lutens, a make-up artist and designer for the company, introduced classics Nombre Noir and Feminite du Bois under the Shiseido names. Serge Lutens is now an independent line producing fragrances under the Shiseido umbrella. Shiseido's Beaute Prestige International division produces fragrances for a number of prominent designers such as Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier and Narciso Rodriguez.
Designer Shiseido has 41 perfumes in our fragrance base. Shiseido is an old perfume house. The earliest edition was created in 1954 and the newest is from 2015. Shiseido fragrances were made in collaboration with perfumers Jean-Louis Sieuzac, Dominique Preyssas, Claudette Belnavis, Aurelien Guichard, Pierre Bourdon, Christopher Sheldrake, Serge Lutens, Jean-Yves Leroy, Jacques Cavallier, Nathalie Lorson, Michel Almairac and Francoise Caron.