Leonard and Evelyn Lauder's romance is a thing of beauty. Leonard, the son of Estée Lauder, is former CEO and current chairman emeritus of the beauty empire his mother built. His wife, Evelyn, serves as the senior corporate vice president and heads up the fragrance division. Together, they helped build the company into a multi-billion dollar business. In the March issue of WSJ. Magazine, out on Saturday, the pair discusses their 50-year marriage and decades of running the company together. Here's a preview of what they have to say about working with each other.
Leonard on Evelyn:
"Even though she oversees [the fragrance division] as an individual, all the names we have on the fragrances relate to us as a couple: Sensuous. Intuition. Beautiful. Pleasures. All those names are names that have sprung, in truth, from our relationship. We did, on occasion, collaborate: I’d walk by her office and she’d say, 'Come on in here,' and there would be an arm with three or four little marks on it and she’d say, 'Sniff this,' and whatever I’d sniff was terrific. I’d leave. And you’d have just seen the CEO in action."
Evelyn on Leonard:
"If I ever made a cologne for Leonard it would be called Handsome. In the office sometimes I would be standing in the hallway at my assistant’s desk and I would feel a hand brush my back. I would look up and he would say, 'Oh, it’s you.'"
The entire story is worth tracking down this weekend, especially if you're a romantic with a head for business. It's always amazing when people stay in love for five decades; it's especially impressive when they've found a way to work together, too.