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Essential Oils in Advertising

Written by Hannah Parry


Posted on December 02 2019

Now that essential oils are more fashionable than ever, it is interesting to remember that they have always been part of our daily lives through everyday items.

This post is dedicated to the presence of essential oils in advertising of the last century. If we look at it from the current perspective it can be funny to observe the arguments used by advertising creatives to prestige the products with the presence of essential oils.

In 1935 Brylcreem, "the perfect fixer," announced a jelly whose advertising message attributed hair loss to the use of "bad fixers." To solve this problem, it offered a product that kept the hair "properly combed" throughout the day and that got the user to have an abundance of hair, since it successfully replaced "cosmetics and regenerators" since it "vitalizes the hair." And the secret of this product was the "essential oils if rubbery or caustic substances". Thus, we see how the properties of essential oils were already transferred to a popular product that was not perfumery.

This type of argumentative advertising message (that is, trying to demonstrate the benefits of a cosmetic product based on posing a problem and offering a solution based on the qualities of the components) will be repeated in the advertising of cosmetic products until today.

Profidén already communicated in 1953 his "toothpaste" (toothpaste began to be used years later) that in addition to having a very "good taste" fulfilled its function of "hygiene and prophylaxis" because it included essential oils that gave the paste of teeth powers »antiseptic, refreshing and deodorants». Stresses in that announcement that the first part, the creative, a girl communicates the benefits of the product, and hence the most remarkable value is the taste.
In the second part of the announcement, the "serious", in a much smaller and adult letter, a language that attempts to be vaguely scientific (using expressions such as "oral digestive secretions") is used to reinforce the credibility of the arguments. 

In 1955 Oatine promised a skin similar to rose petals thanks to the "essential oils similar to those of the flower" that contained her creams. 

In 1964 Bella Aurora announced that her facial stain cream (which is still sold today), had essential oils that would provide a skin «smooth, fresh and beautiful without freckles, spots, blackheads, impurities, etc.»
The history of This brand in Spain, where it has been more than 100 years. It was 1914 when the Barcelona importer Gili, who later became the owner until 2000, introduced the products of Bella Aurora in Spain from the United States, 24 years after the brand was born in the US city of Aurora, by the hand of the company Stillman & Co. His name, then, did not refer to any specific beauty, but to the place where it was born.

Bella Aurora immediately became famous for her image and for a very innovative advertising style, very American-style, at a time when television did not exist. Thus, it was advertised with entire pages in the newspapers and did it with glamorous and modern women, and even with photos of ships like the Titanic and with phrases such as "the cargo of Bella Aurora has arrived."

Throughout the 20th century and today many brands have incorporated the benefits and properties of essential oils to their star products, making it very clear that it is more than a trend or a fashion. Today, treatments and creams with essential oils are as effective as more than 80 years ago. 

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