Perfume and Cosmetics Industry

Perfume and Cosmetics Industry


the branch of industry engaged in the manufacture of perfume, cosmetics, toilet soap, essential oils, and synthetic aromatic substances. In the USSR the perfume and cosmetics industry is part of the food industry.

The commercial production of perfume and cosmetics originated in France toward the end of the 17th century. Production then spread to Italy, Great Britain, and other countries. The perfume and cosmetics industry first emerged in Russia in the mid-19th century. The Ralle Association Plant, now the Svoboda Plant, was founded in Moscow in 1843. The St. Petersburg Chemical Engineering Laboratory (now the Severnoe Siia-nie Plant) was established in 1860, and the Moscow Brokar Association Plant (now the Novaia Zaria Plant) was founded in 1864. By 1914 there were approximately 20 small enterprises and shops, apart from the Ralle and Brokar plants, with a total work force of approximately 2,000. These establishments dealt primarily with processing imported raw materials.

In the USSR, perfume and cosmetics were first produced in 1922 by the Novaia Zaria Plant. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, large perfume and cosmetics factories were built in Nikolaev, Tbilisi, Riga, Simferopol’, Kazan, Krasnodar, Tashkent, and Sverdlovsk. At the same time, reconstruction work was carried out at the plants in Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov, L’vov, and other cities. In 1974 there were 24 specialized enterprises with a high level of production; the average output per plant was approximately 60 million products per year. The Novaia Zaria Plant in Moscow, the largest perfume and cosmetics manufacturer in the USSR and Europe, has an annual output of more than 200 million vials of perfume and cologne. The mechanization of production processes has been initiated, and automated lines for

Table 1. Production of perfume and cosmetics industry
*33.4%, perfumes and perfume sets; 64.6%, cologne and toilet water †46.4%, dental-care products; 17.5%. hair-care products; 31%, skin-care products
Total production (actual retail prices; millions of rubles)............. 20.0127.0116.3838.21,060.0
Total production, (millions of units)......................... 19.3119.2363.7428.01,231.21,402.7
perfumery ...................................... 10.817.2123.9108.0427.2515.7*
cosmetics ...................................... 8.5102.0239.8320.0804.0887.0†

the batching and packaging of products are being introduced. In 1974, productivity reached 100 articles per minute.

In the USSR, the perfume and cosmetics industry produces more than 700 brands of perfume and up to 450 lines of cosmetics. Approximately 95,000 tons of products (about 200,000 tons gross weight) were manufactured in 1973. (See Table 1 for production figures of the perfume and cosmetics industry.) The raw material base has been developed, resulting in the cultivation of up to 20 varieties of essential-oil plants. In 1974, the annual volume of processed raw material was between 270,000 and 280,000 tons. (This figure is based on a survey of 74 specialized plants, the majority of which form agroindustrial complexes with sovkhozes.) The USSR is a major exporter of essential oils, with an annual output of 1,500 to 1,600 tons.

The manufacture of synthetic aromatic substances has been organized on an industrial scale to produce more than 120 different chemical products for a total weight of 5,500 tons (according to 1973 figures). One such enterprise is the large Kaluga Combine. The perfume and cosmetics industry also manufactures glass vials (723 million units in 1973) and aluminum dispenser tubes for packaging (340 million units in 1973).

Other socialist countries have a developed cosmetics industry, but perfume is manufactured on a limited scale. Bulgaria exports toothpaste and high-quality rose oil (extracted from the damask rose), and the German Democratic Republic exports hair-care products. Poland supplies creams, lotions, and makeup.

In capitalist countries, the manufacture of perfume and cosmetics is being increasingly monopolized by such leading firms as Avon Products, Max Factor, and Procter and Gamble in the United States; L’Oreal and Lancôme in France; Yardley in Great Britain; Adam in Italy; and Shiseido in Japan. The French perfume and cosmetics industry is one of the oldest and most famous. The high quality of French perfumes and essential oils ensures their extensive sale on the world market.


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