Ebrahim S. Patanwala in 1910, when he was 25 years of age he began making his own perfumes and brilliantines and in 1918 began manufacturing on a large scale.
It was Ebrahim Patanwala's Afghan Snow, set up in 1919, which introduced modern Indian cosmetics to the masses. Afghan Snow was a non-greasy facial cream made of selected ingredients blended with perfume with a universal appeal. So how was the name inspired? King Zahir of Afghanistan convened an audience with Mr. E.S.Patanwala along with a few other select entrepreneurs on his visit to India. The king was presented a hamper with all E.S.Patanwala products; in it was a jar of pearly white cream without any name. His majesty was impressed and commented that it reminded him of the snow in Afghanistan.
In 1926 Patanwala started manufacturing the now famous perfumes in connection with the Swiss aroma chemical company Givaudan and many of Patanwala's perfumes were housed in Baccarat crystal bottles. Since then the firm has developed nail polishes, lipsticks and soaps. An all-India demand for toiletries compelled Mr. Patanwala to increase his staff. His creations gradually drew patronage from the English gentry and princes of India. Maharaja Jhalawar, Maharaja Patiala, Maharaja Gwalior and Maharaja Kota became a part of his choice patrons.
In 1939, he passed away and his son E. Fakruddin Patanwala took over the company. In 1940, throughout India, the choice range of Afghan toilet preparations was now enhanced by the addition of Knight of Pinjore Perfume, Hair Oil, Soap, Brilliantine, Vanishing Cream, Lotion and Face Powder.
In 1961, one of the pioneering manufacturing firms in India of modern cosmetics, E. S. Patanwala, celebrated its golden jubilee.
The perfumes of Patanwala:
- 1925 Night in Panjore
- 1925 Afghan
- 1925 Indian Jasmin
- 1925 Durre Shewar
- 1925 Ambrerose
- 1926 Jasmin
- 1929 Bhagwan
- 1940 Prince of Pinjore
Knight of Pinjore, c1920s, photo by ebay seller days_gone_collection
Jasmin, c1920s, photo by ebay seller days_gone_collection
Ambrerose, c1920s, photo by ebay seller days_gone_collection
Baghwan, c1929, Baccarat design #695, photo by Perfume Bottles Auction. Patanwala's Bhagwan Perfume bottle sold for $63,000 at the 2012 IPBA Convention. Until now, the made-by-Baccarat bottle was only known of from Baccarat's archival sketches.