Clinique is a cosmetics line founded by the Estee Lauder company in 1968. Inspired by a Vogue magazine article in which a dermatologist discussed the importance of skin care, Evelyn Lauder shared the article with her mother-in-law, Estee, and also reached out to the beauty editor and dermatologist who participated in the article. The Clinique line was developed with their input, and made its debut in August 1968 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
The company's products were the first cosmetics line to be allergy-tested and dermatologist driven. Today, the products are 100% fragrance-free. All products in the line go through extensive testing are held to rigorous standards regarding allergic reactions.
The name "Clinique" is French for "clinical," and the clinical and dermatological image of the brand is further enhanced by the trademarked white lab coats worn by its sales associates. Clinique's approach is based on the cleanliness and hygiene of the skin, and its 3-step skincare systems for a variety skin types are one of its most notable products.
Clinique also markets cosmetics and fragrances as part of its line. The first Clinique fragrance, Aromatics Elixir, was introduced in 1971. This distinct fragrance which just celebrated its 40th anniversary has been a signature scent for multiple generations of women. In spite of the enduring popularity of Aromatics Elixir, the company's best-selling fragrance is actually Happy, introduced in 1997.
This zesty citrus-floral scent bounced into the national consciousness through a series of lively television ads featuring the Judy Garland song, "Come on Get Happy," which was said to have inspired its name. The name, the advertising and the fragrance struck a chord with American women of the late 20th century. Bottles flew off the shelves as the fragrance's popularity soared, and Happy would eventually spawn a men's edition as well as a series of flankers.