20 March 1881|
|Died||23 August 1957
|Occupation||Founder of L'Oréal|
|Relatives||Liliane Bettencourt (daughter)|
Career with L'Oréal
As a young French chemist of German descent and 1904 graduate of the Institut de Chimie Appliquée de Paris (now Chimie ParisTech), Eugène Schueller developed in 1907 an innovative hair-color formula. He called his dye Oréale. With that, the history of L'Oréal began. He formulated and manufactured his own products, and sold them to Parisian hairdressers.
In 1909, he registered his company, the "Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux", the future L'Oréal. The guiding principles of the company that would become L'Oréal were put into place from the start: research and innovation in the interest of beauty.
During the early twentieth century, Schueller provided financial support and held meetings for La Cagoule at L'Oréal headquarters. La Cagoule was a violent French fascist-leaning, antisemitic and anti-communist group whose leader formed a political party Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire (MSR, Social Revolutionary Movement) which in Occupied France supported the Vichy collaboration with the conquerors from Nazi Germany.
L'Oréal hired several members of the group as executives after World War II, such as Jacques Corrèze, who served as CEO of the U.S. operation. This involvement was extensively researched by Michael Bar-Zohar in his book, Bitter Scent.
Schueller's daughter, Liliane Bettencourt, is the widow of André Bettencourt with whom she had one daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, a member of L'Oréal's board of directors. Françoise Meyers is married to Jean-Pierre Meyers, whose parents died in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Liliane Bettencourt is currently the third wealthiest woman in the world, with holdings estimated at $30 billion.
- Michael Bar-Zohar, Bitter Scent: The Case of L'Oréal, Nazis, and the Arab Boycott (London, Dutton Books: 1996) p. 264.
- Official website of L'Oréal
- Forbes article on L'Oréal
- Forbes article on Liliane Bettencourt at the Wayback Machine (archived June 3, 2011)
- Book Review of Bitter Scent