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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lundborg Perfumery

In this guide I have listed the various perfumes by Lundborg Perfumery of New York. Young, Ladd & Coffin were the proprietors and manufacturers. The company stayed in business until 1954.

Lundborg's Perfumery was founded in 1850 by a Swedish immigrant, John Marlie Lundborg who came to the United States and settled in Hudson, New Jersey. He left Sweden early in life and was a reported to be a fine botanist and chemist, who had a great love for flowers, and "possessed a peculiar gift duplicating their perfume". Concocting perfume was not only a hobby, but proved to be lucrative and was turned into a business. After some years later in America, he established himself as a manufacturer of perfumes, in fact he is listed the New York City Business Directory by Trow in 1860 as a "perfumer."

He sold an interest in his business to Richard D. Young in 1872 who purchased the recipes, trademarks, and good will from their inventor. By 1873, the company was renamed Young, Ladd & Coffin. It is worthwhile to note that Lundborg had "retired" when the perfumery company was reorganized, his name still appeared in advertising brochures in 1876 as Young, Ladd & Coffin retained Mr. Lundborg to take charge of their laboratory. He died a few years later in 1879 due to "softening of the brain" at the age of only 57, still an employee at the perfumery lab.

During these years, Mr. Ladd was "studying the mysteries of this most interesting art with Mr. Lundborg" and when Mr. Lundborg passed away, Mr. Ladd took charge of the entire perfume manufacturing.

We must remember, that during the 19th century, American made perfumes were held in some sort of prejudice, with many people holding imported perfumes from France, England and Germany in the highest regard. It was Young, Ladd & Coffin who sought to change the minds of their fellow Americans and with ample capital started an aggressive advertising campaign to promote the newest Lundborg perfumes such as Goya Lily, Edenia, Swiss Lilac and others with striking advertisements.

In 1884 the Lundborg perfumery address was listed at 24 Barclay Street, Cor. Church St, New York City with branches at 100 Tremont Street, Boston,  57 Washington Street, Chicago, and at the Crocker Building in San Francisco. Their perfumes were "known the world over" and soon they had a depot located at 32 Snow Hill, London, England.

Mr. Ladd had remarked that "the first requisite is quality, giving each perfume all the natural strength possible, introducing no foreign matter to make it more lasting, thereby destroying the character hence Lundborg's perfumes maintain their character to the end. Each odor or bouquet is distinct , possessing the delicate fragrance of the flower,  and actually represents the odor whose name it bears. In manufacturing, only the best materials the world produces are used."

At the 1893, World's Fair in Chicago, Ladd & Coffin had envisioned a fantastic pavilion to exhibit their fragrances. They hired New York architect WB Tubby and contractors the Linspar Decorating Co. to realize the idea and the pavilion was erected at the north end of Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building at the left of the main entrance. It was the most conspicuous in that part of the building and commanded lots of attention not only for its size, but its harmony in design. The price tag was $10,000 for the exhibit, a pretty expensive advertisement, but definitely one that worked.

The pavilion occupied a space up of 400 feet and itself was about 25 feet square and about 36 feet high. It was finished at the top by the figure of "Flora, awarding the palm to the victors". The four sides were arches, joined by rounded columns and quarter domes. The latter were supported by Corinthian columns surmounted by by a bold entablature.

The interior was made to resemble a reception room and was richly furnished with a fine oak floor loosely covered by a Wilton carpet of subdued character. Most of the business show was in the interior, in the pillared recesses. The well known perfumes were displayed in different cases, placed in the arches between the columns. The cherry wood showcases were elegantly lined with a gauzy silk to show off the newest perfumes such as Goya Lily in the most artistic of packages.


The base was about two and a half feet high, on which were placed the show cases. Above the arches and quarter domes was the large central dome, which was raised from the intersection of the roofs by a drum, showing conventional decorations in the Renaissance style. The entire structure was in cream, picked out in gold with salmon colored paneling and the decorations in relief, .

In a prominent place, beneath one of the arches, in the central part of the pavilion was the exquisite silver perfume fountain that created a sensation at the Centennial Exposition in 1876 and again at the Paris Exposition in 1889. The Paris Expo was where Lundborg was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exposition for the unquestioned merits of their perfumery and no doubt their silver perfume fountain helped them nab that prize. It is worthwhile to note that Lundborg won the only gold medal given to American perfumes at the Paris Expo.



Anyone could have their handkerchief perfumed for free at the fountain. A customer remarked that "the difficulty with these sampling exhibits is that they tend to block up the passages, and cause an extra expense to the exhibition authorities who have to hire extra policemen to make the public 'move on'." Indeed the daily estimate was around 10,000 people a week scenting their hankies. One week boasted a record of 10, 240 people and Edenia was the odor that they left with!


Lundborg's Silver Fountain, created by J. Matthews & Co. was called a "Floro-Deliac" and was made up of bronze and heavily plated with silver. It had it's perfume falling from silver pitchers and other artistic figures in the hands of the statuettes of boys and girls surrounding the fountain. The design was of a plain cylindrical shaft with three figures in bas relief. The shaft supported a circular basin filled with flowers. In front of the bank of flowers was the escutcheon of the State of California with a grizzly bear upholding a large lily, from which issued a jet of California Water. In the center was a figure of a little girl, holding in one hand a rose, and in the other a pitcher, from which issued a stream of Lundborg's White Rose perfume. On the right is a cherub, in the character of a hay maker holding a sheaf of hay, from which dropped the New Mown Hay perfume. Another cherub was dressed as a jockey bestriding a hobby horse, in one hand he held a vial pouring out Jockey Club perfume.



The fountain's value was said to be $5,000 and had flocks of women eagerly scenting their hankies from the jets of the fountain.  At the Centennial Exposition, it was placed inside of the 33ft x 15ft "Perso Florel" pavilion also worth around $5,000, designed by architect RM Upjohn. The gayly colored pavilion was of Persian design featuring a blue dome topped by a golden crescent. It was reported that two hundred gallons of perfume were distributed gratuitously perfuming over three million handkerchiefs.

The fountain was exhibited in "nearly all sections of the United States and other countries". The main floor of the Bloomingdale's store in New York City hosted the fountain in 1909 for the Industrial Exhibit. In 1913, it was exhibited in Atlantic City and the patrons of the summer resort town were treated to sampling and perfuming their handkerchiefs for free.

American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, Volume 61, 1913
 “Lundborg Silver Perfume Fountain first gained prominence during the Centennial Exhibit, held in the year 1876. It has since been placed on exhibition in nearly all sections of the United States and other countries. The fountain was exhibited this summer at Atlantic City, and many of the patrons of that popular summer resort availed themselves of the opportunity presented to them of perfuming their handkerchiefs gratis. The Lundborg Company is at present, putting on the market many general articles, including nail bleach, liquid green soap shampoo, hair tonic, lip rouge and cold cream in tubes, and have a very attractive line of sales helps which they will be glad to furnish to pharmacists who handle their goods.” 

It was at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair that the Young, Ladd & Coffin firm was awarded the highest award for their Lundborg Perfumes. By this time, Lundborg had received eight medals in total for their perfumes.

In 1920, the Lundborg brand was purchased by a new company and renamed the Lundborg Company. along with all its formulas, trademarks and good will. The aim was to rejuvenate the entire line and restore the Lundborg name and the reputation to the high standard which it enjoyed in the past. Prices were changed, shipping facilities improved and the line was enlarged upon.

Lundborg's perfume bottles often had trefoil glass stoppers, a symbol of their brand, and elegant paper labels. Also to be found are the elegant etched bottles with hollow blown out stoppers. Lundborg also produced sachet powders, hair tonic, liquid green soap shampoo, nail bleach, lip rouge and cold cream in tubes.


You can read more here about Richard D. Young.




The perfumes of Lundborg:

  • 1860 Violette Flor 
  • 1873 Arcadian Pink
  • 1873 White Rose
  • 1873 Wood Violet 
  • 1874 Fascination, a line
  • 1874 Frangipanni
  • 1874 Heliotrope
  • 1874 Jockey Club
  • 1874 Moss Rose
  • 1874 Musk
  • 1874 Night Blooming Cereus
  • 1874 Patchouly
  • 1874 Pond Lily
  • 1874 Rose Geranium
  • 1874 Sweet Briar
  • 1874 Tea Rose
  • 1874 Ylang Ylang
  • 1875 California Water
  • 1876 Bouquet de Caroline
  • 1876 Cassie
  • 1876 Centennial 
  • 1876 Jonquille
  • 1876 Eglantine
  • 1876 Essence Bouquet
  • 1876 Exquisite, a line
  • 1876 Honeysuckle
  • 1876 International, a line
  • 1876 Jasmin
  • 1876 Magnolia
  • 1876 Marechale Niel Rose
  • 1876 Mignonette
  • 1876 Millefleurs
  • 1876 Musk Rose
  • 1876 New Mown Hay
  • 1876 Orange Flower
  • 1876 Recherche, a line
  • 1876 Reseda
  • 1876 Rondeletia
  • 1876 Rose
  • 1876 Spring Flowers
  • 1876 Sweet Pea
  • 1876 Tuberose/Tube Rose
  • 1876 Upper Ten
  • 1876 Verbena
  • 1876 Violet
  • 1876 West End
  • 1876 White Violet
  • 1878 Tally Ho
  • 1879 Edenia
  • 1881 Criterion 
  • 1883 Rhenish Cologne
  • 1883 Alpine Violet
  • 1883 Lily of the Valley
  • 1884 Oil of Cologne
  • 1888 Goya Lily
  • 1888 Harvest Queen 
  • 1889 Stephanotis
  • 1889 Heather of the Links
  • 1890 Bridal Bouquet
  • 1890 Corsage Bouquet 
  • 1890 Helio-Violet
  • 1890 Ocean Spray
  • 1890 Opal
  • 1890 Sweet Spray
  • 1890 White Heliotrope
  • 1890 Swiss Lilac
  • 1891 White Musk
  • 1892 Nada Rose
  • 1892 Triple Violet Water
  • 1893 Forest Pansy
  • 1892 Marie Stuart
  • 1894 Peach Blossom
  • 1894 Opoponax
  • 1894 Vio-Violet
  • 1894 Edelweiss
  • 1894 Crab Apple
  • 1895 Trianon
  • 1896 May Bells
  • 1896 Lilac Bloom
  • 1897 Fairy Frond
  • 1897 Pansy
  • 1897 Imperial, a line
  • 1898 Ayli (As-You-Like-It)
  • 1898 Purple Azalea
  • 1898 Rose of Arden 
  • 1898 Violette de Parme
  • 1898 American Carnation
  • 1899 Princess Ada
  • 1899 Daisy Queen
  • 1900 Violet Dew
  • 1901 Clovera
  • 1902 Golden Jasmine
  • 1903 Cake Walk
  • 1903 Edeol
  • 1903 Bijou 
  • 1903 Florida Blossoms 
  • 1903 Little Trianon 
  • 1903 May Pink 
  • 1903 Odorator 
  • 1903 Opera 
  • 1903 Swiss Rose 
  • 1903 Trefoil 
  • 1903 Velcrema 
  • 1904 Arbor Rose
  • 1904 Jessamine
  • 1904 Peau d'Espagne
  • 1905 Arborea
  • 1905 Carnation Pink
  • 1906 Society
  • 1906 Manor Rose
  • 1906 Violet Chic
  • 1907 Dearie
  • 1908 Tisnu Violet
  • 1908 Apple Blossoms
  • 1908 May Pink
  • 1908 Nilotus
  • 1910 Sakura
  • 1916 Cher Ami
  • 1917 Pixie
  • 1918 Lure
  • 1918 Oct 1, 1918
  • 1919 Admiration, a line
  • 1925 Narcissus
  • 1930 Amber Antique
  • 1931 Le Jasmin Ambre
  • 1944 Stolen Secret (a woodsy perfume)






Ads below are from an 1893 Marshall Field's catalog.












The images below come from a 1901 AC McClurg & Co catalog.



















Prices Current By Fuller & Fuller Co., Chicago, 1907:



1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I have a huge bottle of Edeol, which I had a very hard time dating. 1903! Nice. (I really would love to get my hands on Cake Walk, though, or Fairy Frond.)

    ReplyDelete

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