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The land of beauty

France is still synonymous with beauty products and fragrances, says Reginald Fava, Chemimart chairman.

Chemimart was set up in the early 1960s with the aim of giving an innovative and efficient service to our customers.

We ventured into the retail sector by opening our first pharmacy in Freedom Square, Valletta. This pharmacy was set up as a self-selection outlet where customers could walk in, select their requirements where toiletries are concerned, or go to the pharmacy counter for advice and for the dispensary of their requirements.

At the time it was customary for customers to purchase fragrances and cosmetics from pharmacies. However, it was evident that the trend was about to change. Being specialised in whatever you do was very clearly becoming the name of the game.

In the early 1990s I decided to open our first perfumery in Republic Street, Valletta. At the time we had the sole distribution rights for a number of top brands in make-up, skin care, and fragrances including the world famous name of Helena Rubinstein. In a sense I was very lucky to have met this great lady in person and to some extent unlucky because I met Madam Rubinstein in her very late years in life.

This personality together with Norman Hartnell, who was the designer for the British Royal Family and for Hartnell in Love, did influence me immensely where fragrances and beauty are concerned. From then on I never looked back and successfully acquired and opened a number of high street premises from where we still operate.

In the wide range of fragrances and skin care products we have available within our portfolio, products of French origin do have a special niche. Until some years ago fragrances were synonymous with France. As this came to be one of the areas where huge sums of money were being spent by women of all ages, other countries joined the bandwagon. Notwithstanding, fragrances and beauty products of French origin do carry a very special message till this very day.

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