Window Shopping Hasn’t Changed in 100 Years

Rigaud ad, 1919

The ad above is from Rigaud, the celebrated French candle company. In the early 20th century, Rigaud also made perfume and cosmetics. The ad is from 1919, and shows a couple on a snowy day looking in a store window at the large selection of Mary Garden products. Mary Garden was an American soprano, and Rigaud possiibly invented the first “celebrity fragrances” when they licensed the names of Garden and other notable opera stars of the day (If you don’t know my feelings on celebrity fragrances, you haven’t been reading my blog). In creating the Mary Garden line of perfume and personal care products Rigaud exceeded the permissions they were given in licensing her name. Mary sued and in 1937 a U.S. court found in her favor, saying that “while she had consented that her name could be used in connection with a particular perfume, Riguad had failed to secure the consent needed to register her name and portrait as a trademark.” ( By 1950 Rigaud “invented” the scented candle and stopped making perfume and cosmetics.

Max Factor, 1950

The couple from 1950 (above) is also window shopping, this time for Max Factor products. Sadly, Max Factor is another classic brand that has been discontinued. Although the Riguad ad is almost one hundred years old, it is surprisingly modern in that it shows that even in the early 20th century, Christmas had already become such a commercial holiday that people actively shopped for presents. And I don’t mean that in an anti-establishment, Occupy Wall Street kind of way. I was simply pleasantly surprised to see an ad from so long ago extolling the same pastime of shopping that makes the holiday season so enjoyable for me.

And if you don’t like shopping for holiday presents, there’s always the Internet.

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