Brand Background: Sisley

If you thought that Sisley (the fashion brand) had to do with Sisley (the cosmetics brand), it turns out that they’re not actually related to each other at all. It’s a complete coincidence, if you can believe it!

However, don’t underestimate Sisley - despite not having any ties to fashion houses, the privately-held billion-dollar company still has quite the pedigree. Hubert d’Ornano, the founder, had already started up two previous cosmetics brands, plus his father was on Coty’s board of directors before starting Lancôme. Does the name Guillaume d’Ornano ring a bell? 

Sisley already had a great foundation for becoming a household name in French cosmetics - and here’s how everything started.

Sisley Facial Buffing Cream image
Sisley Facial Buffing Cream | $120
Gently buffs away dead skin cells using a unique blend of plant extracts and clay.

Sisley: Entrepreneurial Beginnings

Maison Sisley shopfront in Paris

Credit: Instagram/SisleyParisOfficial

As cosmetic-industry royalty, Hubert d’Ornano already had a head start when it came to founding perfume and cosmetics brands. He started a perfume brand called Jean d’Albret before founding Orlane with his brother and father. Orlane was successful, and they sold the company to start something new - something based on the power of phytocosmetology, aka the power of plant extracts in skincare.

d’Ornano purchased the perfume company that would become Sisley in 1976, naming it for the impressionist painter, Alfred Sisley. Combining forces with his family and the experience from running Orlane, d’Ornano set out to create a brand that harnessed the potency of natural ingredients effectively in skincare.

Keeping with his fragrance company roots, d’Ornano and his wife launched several perfumes under the Sisley name. Eau de Campagne was their first scent - literally 'water of the countryside', they captured the aromas of quintessential French rural life in a bottle. However, their focus turned more to skincare and the concept of using natural ingredients to nourish and treat skin. 

Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask image
Sisley Express Flower Gel | $170
A gel mask that soothes and hydrates skin in just 3 minutes.

Phytocosmetology

The idea of phytocosmetology might seem, frankly, normal and obvious to us today, but the idea of skincare and makeup containing effective, plant-derived ingredients was only just starting to take form in the 1970s. d’Ornano really pioneered the idea of using plant extracts in skincare, and it wasn’t just the extracts itself that mattered, either. 

Makeup and skincare were formulated with two major key points in mind. First, that the overall formula of the product ensured that skin could make the most of the naturally derived ingredients. On top of that, d’Ornano had a heavy emphasis on selecting ingredients that worked well with each other - again, considering synergy with skincare was a completely new idea in the 70s and set Sisley at the front of the pack.

Alongside being the first to use plant based extracts, they were also among some of the first to include essential oils in skincare - they pinpointed exactly which of these concentrated benefitted skin and allowed their skincare formulas to work even better.

Sisley was one of the first brands to pioneer gender-neutral skincare - one of their earliest products, the Sisley Ecological Compound was launched in 1980 and marketed to both men and women. This super-soothing product was one of the first to contain Centella Asiatica Extract - an ingredient that’s incredibly popular today.

Sisley All Day All Year image
Sisley All Day All Year Day Care | $495
An all-in-one SPF, moisturiser and skin treatment for glowing skin.

d’Ornano’s Legacy

Hubert d’Ornano passed away in 2015 - however, Sisley still remains a family run business with his wife, Isabelle, at the helm. However, the Sisley company isn’t only about creating iconic, effective skincare. The Sisley-d’Ornano Foundation was created in 2010 to carry out charitable work across almost all sectors and needs in France and abroad, giving to communities where help is needed most.

d’Ornano’s drive to create effective, potent skincare still carries in the Sisley brand today - especially in the Sisley Spas and Institutes. The spas were created to give a luxurious, one-of-a-kind experience while using techniques and methods that worked perfectly with Sisley products to give spa goers their best skin ever - just going to France to go to a Sisley spa would be worth the flight!

However, the next best thing is being able to actually get your hands on Sisley skincare - so what are you waiting for? Get your beauty affairs in order with a little bit of French luxury from Sisley.

Products Mentioned:

Header Image: www.thesisleyspa.com

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