Ah! Madame Rubinstein, how much did we really know about her? Everything we practically knew about her was either invented or embellished by Madame, so that it was hard to know where fact left off and fiction began. Read her autobiography and you would be forgiven for thinking that she was well born, well educated, and a genius where it came to the formulation of new skin care preparations. One thing was certain, however that she gave the illusion of all these things with savoir faire, as seen below in the series of photos of Madame, playing the role of chemist, in her laboratory and factory, or as he called them her ‘kitchens’.
Story goes according to Madame that she was born (we know that much, but when is under debate) in Cracow Poland (Fact) to a wealthy wholesale food broker (Fiction?). Her mother supposedly had a strong interest in feminine beauty and again taught her young daughter the important lessons of looking after one’s skin. Even more critical was the 12 jars of moisturizing cream from a chemist Jacob Lykusky (no records have been found for his existence) that she packed in her luggage when venturing forth to Australia in the later half of the 19th century. Supposedly after making her fortune in Australia she was able to ‘study’ with the best dermatologists and chemists that Europe had to offer. Whether she did or not the photographs below gives one the impression that Madame knew what she was doing and took a hands on approach that gave her company and advertising copy the personal touch. Women were more than happy to buy her products after seeing Madame at work.