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Founded by Italian Princess Marcella Borghese in 1958, the Borghese cosmetic and skincare company arose from the princess' personal interest in creating new lipstick colors to coordinate with hair and clothing. Based on traditional skin care formulas used by the nobility, her cosmetics used fruit and other natural ingredients. The idea of more colorful lipsticks was strongly opposed by her family, and it was not until Pope Pius XII approved her concept that her ideas prevailed.
In 1956, Princess Marcella Borghese Inc. launched as a subsidiary of Revlon. Its early products included brightly colored lipsticks and nail polish that coordinated with knitwear by the princess' friend Emilio Pucci. Later, she developed Montecatini, one of the first skin care lines based on spa therapies. Borghese was a prestige cosmetics line sold in high-end department stores.
Borghese created its first perfume, Di Borghese, in 1978, following it with Il Bacio in 1993. Following the sale of Borghese to an investment group in 1991, the house was renamed Halston-Borghese for a time until it was re-christened Borghese by its subsequent owner, Georgette Mosbacher, in 2000. The princess remained involved in the company until her death in 2002.
Borghese continues to manufacture the Il Bacio fragrance, along with makeup and skin care products that include the Fango line of mineral-rich revitalizing and restorative mud masks. In 2013, the company launched Borghese Profumo di Montecatini Natural Spa Perfume.