The infamous Van Cleef & Arpels design house began with a strange, enduring twist of fate. In 1895, Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a precious stone dealer, married Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stone cutter. Unbeknownst to the pair, this union would create a legacy that began with jewels and evolved into a thriving fragrance empire boasting more than 40 men's, women's and unisex scents.
Together, the married couple was inspired to intertwine their families' backgrounds into one business. In 1906, Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle's brother, Charles Arpels, founded the Maison of Van Cleef & Arpels in the world-renowned Place Vendome in Paris. The pair opened several satellite boutiques in France between 1909 and 1939. In 1942, the whole family moved to the United States, where they opened their first high-end jewelry shop in New York.
Enjoying worldwide fame after their jewelry designs were prominently worn by royalty, political figures and celebrities, the Van Cleef & Arpels design house released their first women's fragrance, First for Women, in 1978. The floral scent experienced long-lasting success, and still enjoys enough consumer demand to remain in production to this day.
Other notable scents from the Van Cleef & Arpels design house include the 2008-release, Feerie, which boasts violet and green notes, and the 1989-release, Tsar, an aromatic, woody fragrance for men.
The Compagnie Financire Richemont S.A. acquired Van Cleef & Arpels in 1999 and still owns and operates the company.