France: The Well-Groomed Panther

After wine and pate, no product is more typically French than perfume. The French perfume industry sells $30 million worth of scent at home each year and, despite the rise of a huge cosmetics industry in the U.S., exports another $30 million worth. One reason for this success is the skillful art with which French perfume is marketed; it is subtly associated with haute couture, elegance and refinement.

France's top perfume makers—Chanel, Guerlain, Lanvin, Caron and Dior —have long skillfully employed this art to keep themselves fragrantly prosperous, but it has also...

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