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Estee Lauder acquires Frederic Malle, Le Labo, Rodin

Most of you know my position when it comes to cruelty-free brands owned by parent companies that test on animals: I support cruelty-free brands as long as their status doesn’t change and they maintain strong ethics as a brand. Estee Lauder, who owns brands like MAC, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, and Jo Malone, is a different story. Almost every single brand that this giant of the beauty industry acquires ends up selling in China, where as you know, animal testing is required by law for foreign companies. The brands they own thus change their own animal testing policies by adding a little disclaimer that changes everything: “unless required by law”. Almost all Estee Lauder brands get swallowed by this monster and their cruelty-free status is stripped.

On november 7th, Estee Lauder acquired 3 independent companies: Frederic Malle, Le Labo, and Rodin Olio Lusso. All these brands have a reputation for having a cult following specifically based on their high-quality and artisan production. Frederic Malle is a one of the big niche perfume houses, creator of the legendary Musc Ravageur. Le Labo is currently on PETA’s list of cruelty-free brands; I’ve praised the brand in my recent review. Rodin Olio Lusso is a cult skincare brand offering luxury products that are meticuously crafted and contain natural ingredients. What does the future hold for these niche perfume brands now that they’ve joined the ranks of quality-compromising and profit-driven mainstream fragrances? Is this the beginning of the end of niche perfume?

All these brands have a cult following because of the craft and art involved in their production. With Estee Lauder acquiring them, we can expect a decrease in both quality and ethics. In short: This is why we can’t have nice things.

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I urge every animal lover to send an e-mail to the Estee Lauder company. Let them know your thoughts and let them know that entering the Chinese market and testing on animals is tainting the company’s reputation as well as all of the brands they now own. Let them know that animal testing won’t be tolerated under any circumstances.

View Comments (6)
  • For various reasons, the first perfume bottle, its design, etc, reminds me of Strange Invisible perfumes, the latter being cruelty-free though, which is nice: https://www.siperfumes.com/

    I am not affiliated in any way with that company, just thought I would share.

    • They’re beautiful! If you have a cruelty-free statement from the company, please share it so I can add them to the list! 🙂

  • Agree that Estee Lauder is a terrible company. Not only do they test all their products for China on animals, but they are terrible hypocrites: they raise loads of money for breast cancer research through the Pink Ribbon campaign, but most of their products contain cancer causing chemicals! They also make several products with nanoparticles, and we don’t even know the long term effects of those on human health. They’ve ‘ruined’ Origins and Aveda…http://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/5-brands-you-think-are-eco-friendly/ Best to avoid anything they produce!

  • Hi, I just wrote to Maison Frédéric Malle. Here is their cruelty-free statement (in french): “Notre maison partage votre souci du bien-être animal. Aucun ingrédient entrant dans la composition de nos parfums n’est d’origine animale. Et nos parfums ne sont pas testés sur des animaux.”

    No animal ingredients are used and they do not test their products on animals.

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