In 1979, Leonard Paul Cuozzo and Alan Sebastian Greco, two Jersey boys, came together to produce a very popular masculine fragrance line known the world over as Paul Sebastian Inc. The seed was planted when Cuozzo became interested in fragrance-making while living near the International Flavors and Fragrances plant in New Jersey.
He later partnered his new skills as a perfumer with the business know-how of longtime friend and future business partner, Greco, a sales manager working for Textron at the time.
The pair sold their first scent, a concoction Cuozzo had been slaving over with famed New York nose Fritzsche Dodge for over a decade. It was sold in 3 men’s clothing stores in New Jersey.
The surprising success of its inaugural cologne allowed the Paul Sebastian brand to expand to over 300 stores within two years of its introduction. The company would soon gross more than a quarter of a million dollars per year.
The men also initiated a game-changing innovation to the fragrance world with the “gift with purchase” idea. They began giving out teddy bears to customers and eventually evolved to offering fine porcelain wares to match the colognes. This soon became the company trademark.
The company went international in 1989.