The story of today’s DOUGLAS Group began in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt in the early 19th century. A lot has happened since then.




The foundations of DOUGLAS as we know it today are laid by Scottish immigrant John Sharp Douglas: He opens a soap manufactory in Hamburg’s famous warehouse district, Speicherstadt. From the very beginning, he acts exactly the same way as we still do today: bold, modern and with high-quality premium standards.

Our story starts around 200 years ago in Hamburg: A historical photo shows workers in front of the J.S. Douglas Söhne soap factory.

The earliest price list that could be found of the J.S. Söhne Douglas soap factory (around 1870).

In 1830, J.S. Douglas revolutionizes soap production. Thanks to shorter production times, costs can be reduced and more people can be reached with the products. In 1851, the ‘Sky Soap’ was even awarded a medal at the first World Exhibition in London.




Berta Kolbe is the first woman to take over the management of J.S. Douglas Sons. She is also the one to grant a third party a name license, paving the way for the first DOUGLAS perfumery stores: In 1910, the sisters Anna and Maria Carstens open the first “Parfümerie Douglas” at Neuer Wall in Hamburg. As more DOUGLAS perfumery stores open in the following years, the soap factory remains in force and produces soap, sunscreen and toothpaste until the 1990s.

The predecessor of the first perfumery, the "J.S. Douglas & Söhne" department store, was located at Jungfernstieg 5 in Hamburg from 1890 to 1908. Alongside soap, the store also sold fragrances at an early stage.

In 1910, the sisters Maria and Anna Carstens have the idea that changes everything: They open the first true ‘Parfümerie Douglas’ - also in Hamburg.

DOUGLAS focuses on marketing at an early stage – with a strong emphasis on attractive packaging and prominent advertising.




The confectionary manufacturer Hussel AG takes over the DOUGLAS perfumeries. Under leadership of CEO Dr Jörn Kreke, the company pushes ahead the expansion of its new perfumery branch through further acquisitions and branch openings. In the course of this development, Hussel AG is restructured into a holding company with two separately operating companies: one for confectionery and one for perfumeries. Later, from 1976, all perfumeries are rebranded and named “Parfümerie Douglas”; the affiliated company is now called “Parfümerie Douglas GmbH”.

A journey through time: Innovative store concepts have always been a hallmark of DOUGLAS.

Unmistakable: The typical DOUGLAS mint, which still characterizes our brand to this day, already decorated our stores many decades ago.




With the acquisition of the Austrian perfumery chain Parfümerie Ruttner, DOUGLAS makes a first step towards international expansion. In the 1980s, store openings and further acquisitions follow in the Netherlands, France and Italy. Apart from its international expansion, DOUGLAS also grows in its home market of Germany, for example by acquiring the Er + Sie perfumeries. Until the 2000s, DOUGLAS continues to expand rapidly in Europe, entering markets such as Spain, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Switzerland.

Since the 1980s, DOUGLAS has also been active in France – initially with its own DOUGLAS stores, later with the NOCIBÉ brand.

The DOUGLAS Card Magazine, launched in the 90s, has been around for almost 30 years. Today, it has a circulation of 1.4 million.

The flacon changed its function in the 20th century - from a mere vessel, it transformed into a work of art that reflected the character of the perfume.




In addition to the growing store network, DOUGLAS opens its first online shop. More online shops follow in the foreign markets. In 2011, DOUGLAS reaches another milestone and expands its online offering with its first ever mobile app.

‘Click and Find Out’ is the page title of the first DOUGLAS online shop – a lot has happened in the digital world since then.

Omnichannel is a winning model for DOUGLAS - including an own native app since 2011.




The Kreke family and the financial investor Advent International take over Douglas Holding AG, which at the time also includes the companies Thalia, Christ, Appelrath Cüpper and Hussel. They realign the company with a clear focus on retailing beauty products. DOUGLAS expands internationally and acquires the French perfumery chain NOCIBÉ. In 2015, the company is partially sold to CVC Capital Partners; in 2016, the company headquarters are relocated from Hagen to Düsseldorf.

Before moving in 2016, DOUGLAS is based in Hagen. The location remains important: Today, parts of the DOUGLAS Group IT and the DOUGLAS Customer Service are located there.

Since 2016, our corporate headquarters are located on Luise-Rainer-Straße in Düsseldorf.

The DOUGLAS Beauty Card success story started in 1995: In its very first month, it already attracted 20,000 customers - today, there are around 55 million Beauty Card members.




DOUGLAS launches the strategic offensive #FORWARDBEAUTY. This includes a new brand identity, the expansion of E-Commerce and the transformation of stationary stores into points of experience. In 2018, DOUGLAS takes over German Parfümerie Akzente and its online shop parfumdreams; one year later, in 2019, DOUGLAS acquires a majority stake in Niche Beauty and launches a beauty partner program in Europe. In 2020, online shops, partner program and stores are integrated on a connected digital platform.

As part of #FORWARDBEAUTY, DOUGLAS transforms its stores from a point of sale to a point of experience, tests innovative formats and opens flagship stores in attractive locations in Europe's metropolitan regions.

The current DOUGLAS logo since 2017




Just in time for the start of spring, DOUGLAS kicks off ‘Let it Bloom – DOUGLAS 2026’, a clear omnichannel growth strategy that puts customers at the center of all activities. The strategy is based on four pillars: DOUGLAS aims to become the leading omnichannel destination for premium beauty in all of its markets as well as to offer the most distinctive range of brands, the most customer-friendly omnichannel experience and the best operating model.

In 2023, DOUGLAS enters two new markets and opens its first stores in Slovenia and Belgium (image: DOUGLAS store in Antwerp).

In 2024, a new branding and logo are established: In line with its positioning as an omnichannel provider for premium beauty, the company brands itself DOUGLAS Group. With four strong consumer brands - DOUGLAS, NOCIBÉ, Niche Beauty and parfumdreams -, it is active Europe wide and has omnichannel activities in 22 countries.

On 21 March 2024, exactly one year to the day after the launch of "Let it Bloom", the DOUGLAS Group celebrates its IPO in Frankfurt - accompanied by over 100 employees and featuring a mint-decorated trading floor.




The DOUGLAS Group returns to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as Douglas AG.