Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

The Soviet advertising poster
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is one of the artistic symbols of the era. The poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
has significance not only as a form of art, but also as a reflection of the everyday and intellectual life of a Soviet citizen. This is a chronicle of communist propaganda and worldview, transmitted through such simple things as food, drinks, cigarettes, household appliances, cosmetics and perfumes.

Educational program on hygiene of the Soviet citizen



Cosmetics and perfumes are a particularly interesting part of the life of the inhabitants of the USSR, since it was located on some periphery of the bourgeois lifestyle and the proletarian. Cosmetics meant grooming and polish, which was clearly contrary to the basics of communism, but at the same time it remained a necessity.

One of the differences in the new post-revolutionary fashion was that women could use decorative cosmetics openly. The ability to apply powder and lipstick correctly has become one of the necessities of an educated citizen. It just so happened that cosmetic products were categorized as “cultural goods”. During the war and subsequent years, it practically disappeared from the shelves, becoming an inaccessible luxury, and grooming and sophistication were ideologically considered incorrect.

But cosmetics and perfumes were completely secondary in comparison with the primary issues of cleanliness and health of the body of ordinary workers and peasants. In the 1930s, they became known for their eradication of illiteracy, not only in the field of reading and arithmetic, but also in the rules of personal hygiene. And on this field such pillars of the Soviet poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
worked as Mayakovsky and Rodchenko.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

The impoverished peasantry, illiterate workers, people who huddled in tiny rooms without any conditions - all this did not contribute to the health of the nation, and therefore threatened the existence of a young state. Hygiene was given a truly political significance, posters were distributed with instructions on caring for the baby, on lice control, pregnancy management and calls to wash hands regularly.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Author: O. Grun
Year: 1925

Much later, but nevertheless very accurately, V. Vysotsky in one line will describe the level of “conveniences” of the average proletarian way of life: “There are only one restroom in thirty-eight rooms”.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes of the NEP era



1920-1930 - the time of the formation and heyday of Soviet advertising, its definition in the field of commerce, art and propaganda. These were relatively “well-fed” years, when people still remembered the pre-revolutionary chic, women strove to be attractive and, to the best of their abilities, fit the fashion of those years.

After the Revolution of 1917, all perfume companies were nationalized. The famous “Brokar” throughout Europe was turned into the State soap factory No. 5, which provided soap for the Red Army soldiers. In 1922, it was named the State Perfume and Soap Factory Novaya Zarya, known for its perfumes even today under the more bourgeois brand Nouvelle Etoile.

The advertising of NEP cosmetics is, first of all, the famous TaeZhe trust, which appeared in 1922. The trust was led by Molotov’s wife, Polina Zhemchuzhina.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

Despite the elegantly French character of the name of the enterprise, it is just the abbreviation “Fat Essence Broadcast”, and not at all “woman’s body” or “woman’s secret”, as the Soviet ladies tried to decipher. There was a comic ditty reflecting the popularity of this cosmetics not only among prim urban residents:

“On Taezhe’s lips,
On Taezhe's cheeks
On the eyebrows of tae.
Where to kiss? "

New products of new enterprises had to be advertised, in spite of the fact that the phenomenon of advertising itself was far from worker-peasant, but frankly capitalist. Moreover, advertising of personal care products. It was necessary to give a “canonical” justification for this phenomenon, which the well-known revolutionary A. Mikoyan did a good job of: "The task of Soviet advertising is to give people accurate information about products on sale, help them formulate new requirements, instill new tastes and demands, stimulate sales of new types of products and explain how they are used by consumers."

Advertising helped the Soviet Union restore the economy after the devastating years of the First World War and the Revolution, visually and simply give the desired vector of development to a new society. Later, certain rules were formed that corresponded to ideology and fit perfectly into the framework of the art of socialist realism
Realism (from late Latin reālis — “real”) is considered to be the beginning in the development of modern art. In a strict sense, “realism” is an art movement that faithfully and objectively reproduces reality in all its details, regardless of how beautiful are the objects in the picture. Read more
. But in the period 1920-1930, posters illustrated a completely different aesthetics, which should have been, but it was impossible to refuse so immediately. Best of all, this affiliation with bourgeois art, the art of art nouveau, is illustrated by the packaging and posters of TeJe.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Taezhe powder box

The silhouette of a lady in blue against the backdrop of foggy Petrograd tells the viewer and buyer in one person about the need to purchase powder, perfume and cream "White Night". The neat and ornate logo of Tezhe, the image of the product and its name are located at the bottom.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Posted by: A. Miller
Year: 1937

Powder and lipstick “Red Poppy” is a vivid and memorable advertising image of 1938, which is still devoid of typical Soviet imperatives “buy”, “choose”, etc. Despite the fact that this is a later work, it is made in the style of ar -Nuvo and looks like an echo of the past. On the entire plane of the poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
is a graceful profile of a girl, and a bright spot of red poppy, which creates the illusion of unity of red lips and a flower.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR


The Teje Trust was designed for different segments of the population, which made it necessary to draw posters in a more accessible style. For example, a street vendor with a wide smile showing his goods - a different soap on the poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
“State Perfume Factories”, and a girl in a headscarf running towards him along a country road. Ordinary citizens and peasants also had to monitor the purity of their bodies.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
"State perfumery factories"
1926 year

A black man smiling on the entire plane of the poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
with a snow-white smile - what other image could be more clear and accessible for persuading to buy Chlorodont toothpaste?

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Chlorodont Toothpaste Poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more

1929 year

By the way, considerable attention was paid to the issue of dental hygiene; everything from small children to ladies in furs appeared in the advertisement of pastes and powders.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Chlorodont Toothpaste Poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more

1929 year

America's skyscrapers, hats and perfumes, flowers and transparent fabrics - all this can still be enjoyed with impunity on advertising posters.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

At the same time, the conciseness and graphic nature of such works were clearly traced, which, with all the “bourgeois” themes, made such advertising clear and accessible.

Cosmetics and perfumes in the Soviet poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
of the 1930s



Posters of the 30s change a bit in their style. Advertising cologne, soap and toothpaste looks deliberately joyful, positive. The faces of women are open, bright, full of energy. But the incorporeal, silhouette and sophistication of the 1920s is already difficult to find. Advertising looks simple and straightforward, even more understandable.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

It is difficult not to replace the laconicism and catchiness of images, and the special Soviet realism
Realism (from late Latin reālis — “real”) is considered to be the beginning in the development of modern art. In a strict sense, “realism” is an art movement that faithfully and objectively reproduces reality in all its details, regardless of how beautiful are the objects in the picture. Read more
, which in fact became a model of idealization. This is a famous poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
of cologne and perfumes of the strong smell "Lilac" from a friend already Tezhe. A strong, beautiful and confident girl with a fashionable hairstyle of the mid 30s brings a bottle of fragrant liquid to her nose. She smiles broadly and at the same time simply, as a true proletarian should. Not a shadow of coquetry, not a hint of a riddle. Now the society as a whole and specifically the woman has completely different goals, even if she is fragrant with lilacs.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

Soaps of various types, tooth powders and pastes were actively advertised, it was really difficult to live without.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR


Post-war cosmetics and hygiene advertising



A new surge in advertising, but in a completely different format was observed in the postwar years. Landmarks of society, goals and aesthetic ideals have changed radically. Decorative cosmetics openly despised, as a product of the enemy bourgeoisie, became a sign of idleness and depravity.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

But at the same time, propaganda of hygiene, cleanliness of the body and health does not leave Soviet society for even a minute.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

On posters, you can see men much more often, for example, in an advertisement for razor blades and toothpaste. Already in 1948, the Krasnaya Zvezda factory could offer its customers three types of razors, and provide an advertising poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
with a caring recommendation: “choose the appropriate brands for clean, soft and easy shaving.” A clear instruction is written in small print at the bottom of the poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

The art of advertising also retains extreme clarity, dividing the plane into zones for ease of perception and creating a certain rhythm. The new advertisement is distinguished by a more plentiful amount of text divided into blocks, therefore it does not at all distract from the main one, but only gives the product even more specificity.

Posters of the 1950s can be compared with advertisements of the end of the 19th century - these are also full of realism
Realism (from late Latin reālis — “real”) is considered to be the beginning in the development of modern art. In a strict sense, “realism” is an art movement that faithfully and objectively reproduces reality in all its details, regardless of how beautiful are the objects in the picture. Read more
, but at the same time, images that perfectly meet the necessary standards. If then these were doll faces of women and children, and sleek men, then in the second half of the 20th century, the faces on the posters are full-blooded, overly strong and contented with life, which honest citizens should be in the view of post-war society. The women held an impressive part of industry and production; they often performed hard, masculine work. So the aesthetic ideal of a strong, strong and hardy drummer appeared.

Uncomplicated advertising of perfumes and colognes “Maki” also shows positives on the verge of naivety. A realistic way of portraying it goes hand in hand with the vulgarity and simple-heartedness that society, worn out by military deprivation, eagerly perceived. Despite the forced asceticism, the use of cologne was considered a sign of good taste, and to hand it as a gift - the rule of etiquette.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

True classicism
Classicism was firmly established in European art of the 17th century, giving ground only in the first third of the following century. The classicists worshipped antiquity, strongly believed in the idea of the order and logic of the universe, as well as in the limitless possibilities of the human mind. Read more
can be seen in an advertisement for the 1949 white powder tooth powder. A sincerely joyful, athletically built man looks at the viewer from the poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
against the backdrop of mountains and the blue sea. In this case, the artist offers the buyer not just a means for brushing his teeth, but beauty, health and a happy look into the “bright future”.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Authors: S. Sakharov and K. Kuzginov
1949 year

Advertising hygiene products, like any other products, was not a way to attract a client, but real propaganda.

Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Author: I. Bograd
1936 year.

An unprecedented innovation - nylon fiber, contrary to everything Western, hit the Soviet shelves. A smiling blonde woman holds a nylon stocking in large hands, demonstrating its lightness and transparency. “Beautiful. Durable. Hygienic ”- as always, a laconic formulation says, bringing all the necessary information to a potential buyer. You may notice that the characteristic “beautiful” is in the first place, which means that beauty for drummers in a skirt still has not lost its importance.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR

In the 1960s, the needs of a resident of the Soviet Union increased, so did the demands, the standard of living changed. Advertising activity is led by a new organization - the Interdepartmental Advertising Council under the USSR Ministry of Trade. Magazines are full of various tips on the use of "natural" cosmetics, that is, what a woman always has at hand, and finding something suitable for creating makeup is still almost impossible. But it was in the 60s that the woman’s hypertrophied power in artistic images would come to naught, and at the end of the decade, through a tiny slit of the iron curtain, a completely different fashion for fragility and big-eyedness would leak, ladies would be able to wear an extreme mini and finally make up eyelashes. The lifebuoy for the inhabitants of the Soviet Union was the producers of "New Dawn" and "Freedom." Elected citizens of the communist society had access to the Birch shop and, of course, used completely different brands.

In the 1970s, special magazines began to be published for the first time, where for the most part all advertising moves. Now more and more often, for a more visual presentation, the product’s photos are directly used.
Advertising cosmetics and perfumes in the USSR
Perfume "Red Moscow"

Looking at the history of the Soviet poster
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha... Their posters are world-famous. What factors led to the emergence of such a special genre? We talk about the origins, development, features of this art form and show the works by different artists. Read more
, it can be replaced that not so much attention was paid to the topic of cosmetics and perfumery as to social or military topics. The years of Soviet power are, for the most part, years of enormous deprivation and loss, so the problems of the external aesthetics of citizens in the view of the leadership were secondary. But even that small that was accessible, carried a social significance and had to be "politically correct." The gradual formation of society and the "thaw" restored the opportunity for women and men to take care of themselves to the extent that Soviet cosmetology was ready to offer. And here, advertising takes a new round, moves to magazines, becomes the property of not only artists, but first of all - photographers.

Author: Lyudmila Lebedeva