Jacques Courtin-Clarins Dies at 85

Jacques Courtin-Clarins, the founder and chairman of the Clarins Groupe, a French company that produces luxury skin-care products and makeup under the brand names Clarins, Thierry Mugler, Azzaro and Stella Cadente, died on March 23 at his home outside Paris. He was 85.

Jacques Courtin-Clarins was born in Paris on Aug. 6, 1921. A chiropractor who saw an opportunity when many of the women among his patients complained about the condition of their skin, he started the company in 1954.

Clarins started as a Parisian salon where clients received massages with nongreasy oils and creams. Courtin-Clarins’ rubbing technique, marketed as the “Paris method,” emphasized firming and slimming as the goal.

He persuaded celebrities of the era, including ballerina Ludmila Tcherina and screen sex symbol Martine Carol, to endorse his skin treatments.

He named Clarins after a character he played in a school play and in 1974 added the name to his own.

The company now produces cleansers, moisturizers, firming products, exfoliating treatments and sun-protection and tanning lotions, as well as a line of perfumes. Last year, Clarins had about $1.2 billion in sales, including revenue from spas and salons in many countries.

Clarins worked with Thierry Mugler to create the Angel fragrance in 1992. It was a huge hit and emerged as competition to Chanel No. 5.

Mr. Courtin-Clarins is survived by two sons, Christian, who is now the company president, and Olivier, its managing director, both of Paris, and five granddaughters. His wife, Maria, died in 2005.

In his insistence on using plant extracts, Mr. Courtin-Clarins resisted a cosmetics industry trend in the 1970s toward using chemical-based products.

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