Avon’s male founder, David H. McConnell started in sales back in the 1880s as a door-to-door book salesman. With few advertising outlets in those days, McConnell used a then-popular gimmick—offering a free gift in exchange for a moment of the potential customer’s time. Most of the customers McConnell dealt with were housewives, home in the afternoon hours while their husbands were away at work. This inspired McConnell to work with a local pharmacy to create a fragrance that he could give away in small quantities to those who were willing to listen to his book pitch. There was one problem with this method: customers started taking more interest in the fragrance than they did the books McConnell was selling.