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November 08, 2005

American Fragrance Classics


What are your favorite American fragrance classics?

The first American pharmacy opened in 1729 in Philadelphia, where drugs and perfumes could be purchased. After several ownership successions, the pharmacy ended up in the hands of Hazard, Caswell and Massey. Thus, Caswell-Massey can rightfully claim to be the oldest pharmacy in the United States. Many others soon followed.

Elizabeth Arden, originally Florence Graham, opened up her beauty shop in 1910, creating Blue Grass to commemorate her favorite Virginia retreat.

Charles Revson, a son of a Russian immigrant, along with his brother Joseph and a chemist, Charles Lachman—the “L” in the company name, founded Revlon in 1932. Their first fragrance Norell, named after the designer Norman Norell, debuted in 1968.  ...

Revlon’s competitor, Estée Lauder was established in 1946, with Youth Dew (1953) being an enormous success. A recent discussion on Estée Lauder and Tom Ford prompts me to ask about your favorite American fragrance classics (and others, not to be confined solely to classics).

One in particular that comes to my mind is Estée Lauder White Linen (1978). Its innovative appeal lies in its lack of ornamentation typical for heavily aldehydic fragrances—bergamot, ylang ylang, vanilla, coumarin. However, rose and green floral notes provide an interesting complex touch.

White Linen advertisement from



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