Business & Finance: Beauty Appetite

Some thirty years ago, the widow Angeline Philippe looked hard at the small boy who stood beside her. She and her husband had named him Louis. By itself, Louis was perhaps the commonest name in all Paris, but Louis Philippe smacked of kingship. With such a name, a young Parisian should go far. It was unfortunate that she had scarcely enough money to clothe or feed him.

But the widow Angeline was resourceful. While she put little store by such things herself, she knew that Parisian women loved to soften their skins with greasy...