I met Elizabeth Taylor on Wednesday, September 11, 1991. Elizabeth Arden Inc, the manufacturer and distributor of her fragrances then and now, flew Canadian media to New York City to attend a press conference at The Plaza Hotel introducing White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor. She was to make a rare personal appearance. I’d met many famous fashion personalities in my career but nothing to compare with her stature as a ‘legendary movie star’.
She walked on stage wearing a purple suit that emphasized her rare violet coloured eyes, holding hands with Larry Fortensky, a construction worker who would become her 8th husband. I was immediately struck by how tanned she was. Talk of fragrance notes, advertising campaigns and retail distribution went in one ear and out the other as I tried to take in the totality of her presence: the beauty of the face, the violet eyes, the big diva hair, two academy awards, numerous husbands, the history of ‘living large’, all wrapped up in this person standing in front of us. She spoke, smiled, posed for pictures and left after about 15 minutes.
Today, Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds is reportedly the world’s best-selling celebrity fragrance of all time – 20 years after it first launched. Elizabeth Arden chairman E. Scott Beattie released a statement reassuring consumers that the perfume range would not be discontinued.”White Diamonds remains a best seller almost 20 years after its 1991 introduction, a testimony to her transcendent and enduring appeal.Our best tribute to Elizabeth Taylor will be to continue the legacy of the brands she created and loved so much,” he added.