1870 - 1900

August 14, 1870
Something About Perfumery
New York Times

Short history of perfume, with an overview on its manufacture and uses; brief presentation on perfumes past and present. "French perfumes have long occupied the first position in Europe, and are much sought after in this country; [...] our country might soon rise to eminence in this regard, for we have here as good material from which to manufacture as can be found anywhere". However, it is argued that the high labour costs, added governement tax, and "stamp duty" on cosmetics in the US hinder competition between American manufacturers and their European counterparts. Interesting comment: "The general use of perfumes in this country may be dated back to about fifteen years ago. Previous to that time comparatively little was used, and the bulk of that was imported".


October 1, 1871
New York Times

Opens with comments on the use of perfume: "The practice of using scents of various descriptions is so universal that to defend it seems absurd. [...] (T)he attacks of those whimsical reformers who undertake to redeem the world in an instant [...] amount to this, that in men the use of scents is effeminate, and in women it is a fashion set by those who had good physical reasons for it". What follows is an overview of the history and manufacture of perfume, in which the use of perfume is further clarified. The author adds: "Scandal declares that there are ladies who positively bathe in Cologne water, and HASSARD has more than one customer of the gentle sex who buy a dozen quarts at a time. But it is more probable that they only bathe their faces in it, to render the skin less susceptible to the wind."


September 5, 1879
Acres of Perfume
New York Times

Brief article containing statistics on the volume of the perfume business, and estimates on growth and value of raw materials per acre. "Some idea of the magnitude of the business of raising sweet-scented flowers for their perfume alone may be gathered from the fact that Europe and British India alone consume about 150,000 gallons of handkerchief perfume yearly; that the English revenue from French eau de Cologne of itself is $40,000 annually, and the total revenue of England from other imported perfumes is estimated at $200,000 each year."


August 12, 1894
Perfumes, Soaps, and Pomades
New York Times

Comments on the use and abuse of perfume on the dressing table, overview of the virtues and peculiarities of perfumes, tips on how to treat toilet soaps, and notes on pommades and hair oils. Regarding the "national taste" in perfumes, the manager of the American branch of a European business comments: "When we first imported our goods, we brought prominently forward those perfumes which had met with favor in England, but we soon learned that Americans had their own preferences. There is one scent pre-eminently the favorite, and that is sandalwood. [...] It was the fashion a century ago, for the young beaus to adopt the favorite perfume of their lady love and flaunt it on all occasions in much the same manner as the knights wore their ladies' colors. We have not yet reached that stage of sentiment, though it is undeniable that it is becoming the fashion for ladies to adopt some special perfume, which becomes identified with them as surely as their favorite flower."


April 17, 1897
Dingley Bill Prohibitory
New York Times

Views of dealers in drugs and chemicals, and manufacturers and importers of perfume regarding the Dingley Bill, a new tariff on imported ingredients for chemicals, drugs, and perfume. "Nearly all agree that the new tariff will seriously injure American manufacturers, because it lays a high duty upon almost all ingredients used by them in the making of chemicals, drugs, and perfumes. As the great majority of these materials are not made in this country and have to be imported, the dealers and manufacturers say that the bill will levy an onerous tax upon their business without giving to other American manufacturers any benefits." Francis C. Dodge of Dodge & Olcott: "Take vanillin, for instance. Vanillin is a synthetic product, largely used as a substitute for vanilla in confections and extracts. I believe that only one man in this country manufactures it, and he only produces an infinitessimal part of what is used; and yet the duty has been put at 100 per cent, I believe, thus doubling the cost to us of an article that is necessary, and which cannot be obtained in the United States."


June 11, 1899
About Perfumes
New York Times (from Harper's Bazar)

The latest trends in the use of perfume are discussed. "The too free use of perfume about the person has been avoided for many years and held inadmissable in good society, the merest hint of a faint odor being all that was possibly allowed. Recently this edict of good taste has not been so strictly regarded, and such perfumes as violet and sandalwood, both of them expensive ones when pure, together with heliotrope, are somewhat in favor again." Added comments on the use of perfume by famous emperors and monarchs, and that of "our grandmothers, and theirs before them".