Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Remembering an inspirational woman

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and senior corporate vice president and head of fragrance development worldwide at Estee Lauder Cos., passed away at her Manhattan home Saturday.  Here is a brief overview of some of the incredible things that Evelyn H Lauder achieved.

During her time working at Estee Lauder she co-created Aramis, a best-selling men's scent with Estee, while also developing Clinique's iconic fragrances Beautiful, Happy and Pleasures. She received the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

While Lauder certainly had a head for business, she was down-to-earth and creative, once admitting, 'You don’t sell fragrance on intellect. You sell fragrance on your nose. It’s an immediate response. You either like it or you don’t. It’s like food — you either like beets or you don’t. Leonard still can’t get me to drink beer.'

Aside from working for the Estee lauder company, she fundraised and built awareness for breast cancer. In 1992, Lauder and the then-editor-in-chief of Self magazine, Alexandra Penney, created the pink ribbon as a symbol of breast cancer awareness. October that year she also launched the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign which is still going strong almost 20 years later - to date, more than 65 million pink ribbons have been distributed.

In October 2009 the Evelyn H Lauder Breast Centre opened. 'The doctor who was in charge of the hospital said they were building a breast centre. And I said, ‘Oh, this is fabulous. What are you going to have in the breast centre?’ So he said, ‘We’re going to have oncology and we’re going to have mammography. I said, ‘Is that it?’ He says, ‘Well, what else do you want?’ And I said, ‘Well, I would want physical therapy, psychological counselling, an education centre so that we could pick up information in either leaflets or online, nutritional counselling, a pharmacy so you don’t have to go running around the city to get everything, a boutique that might sell all the needs of a woman while she’s waiting for reconstruction to get the right bra and do whatever is necessary — bathing suits, you know?’ The 150,000-square-foot facility is a great symbol of her vision.

While devoting her life to breast cancer awareness, she kept quiet the fact that she too was fighting cancer, surviving both early-stage breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The businesswoman died of complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer aged 75.

So let’s make sure that we keep Evelyn’s campaign to increase awareness of breast cancer going strong and support the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.

K x

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