Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The House of Tre-Jur & Varva Perfumes

This guide is an extension of new information on the original guide I wrote on ebay for the House of Tre-Jur.

Established in 1924 by Albert Mosheim at 19 West 18th Street, New York, . The company also sold toiletries and cosmetics and opened a branch in Hamburg, Germany. Tre-Jur was affiliated to Varva and they shared a perfume in common, Suivez-Moi. Tre-Jur is spelled as the phonetic equivalent of "treasure". Tre-Jur eventually became a division of United Toilet Goods Co. of New York City and a division of Fifth Avenue, NY. In 1963, the House of Tre-Jur was bought out by Maradel Products, Inc. (now known as Del Laboratories.)



On an early brochure, it proudly exclaims "Adorning the Joli Memoire packages, you will recognize Tre-Jur's little trade-mark lady. She is the constant companion of lovely women everywhere, for they have made the use of Tre-Jur not only habit, but fashion." This is a common motif and became the trademarked logo for The House of Tre-Jur, it was used on all of their products.

Tre-Jur was one of the first companies to offer seasonal gft boxes of their products. The Tre-Jur division was making popular priced bath powder, soaps, accessories and similar products, chiefly for Christmas. Complete vanity sets included a compact, loose powder, lipstick and rouge from Tre-Jur, an advertisement from Australia’s Argus from 1927, mentions that Buckley’s is the exclusive retailer of Te-Jur products in Australia.

Tre-Jur built its fortune on its compacts, with names like “Little One” and “thinnest”, these were staples of the flapper’s reticules. Their compacts came in both brass and nickel. Many of them are enameled and have Art Deco styled motifs and the Hose of Tre-Jur lady logo. In a 1924 ad for their compacts, it states that their face powder is fragranced with the perfume Joli Memoire.

In 1929-1933, the KODAK Ensemble was introduced. It featured a KODAK Petite Camera in a suede case with lipstick, compact, and mirror; it came in three colors: beige, rose, green. The cosmetics were provided by the House of Tre Jur.

Also in 1929, NEHI, the soda and soft drink company used one of Tre-Jur’s combination compacts as one of their premiums. It was a quality compact made up of baked enamel and featured powder, rouge, two puffs and a highly polished double metal mirror. It took 50 cents and 50 NEHI crowns just to get this. You could also get a adjustable and red enameled gunmetal tube of Tre-Jur lipstick in a raspberry shade with 19 cents and 19 NEHI crowns.

The most common Tre-Jur perfume bottle used for Suivez-Moi, was launched in 1925, this clear and frosted bottle is in the shape of an elegant with lady wearing large hat as stopper, her crinoline skirt is decorated with abstract symbols, she holds a posy of flowers in her hands. Base acid-etched "House of  Tre-Jur".  Two versions of this bottle exist. The perfume came in several sizes with the smallest bottle standing just  2 1/2" tall. The largest stands 3.2" tall. The perfume bottles were further enhanced with a small ribbon and faux flower bouquet attached to the bottles.

Some of the powder boxes also had the same small flower bouquet attached as well as a lovely silhouette of the perfume bottle lady in a cartouche on the lid of the bath powder box. The face powder boxes and compacts all shared the same silhouette. I am starting to think that the beautiful little lady perfume bottle may have been used for more fragranced than just the Suivez Moi perfume.

The popularity of Suivez Moi was so great that in 1930, the House of Tre-Jur introduced the perfume Suivez Moi Jeune Homme, or Folllow Me Young Man. This perfume seems to have been first created and sold by Martha Regnier in 1923. Martha Regnier, a French milliner, launched a small range of perfumes in the early 1920s in Paris, another perfume by her company was Elle à Passe Par Ici from 1924. I believe that Tre-Jur may purchased this short lived company and introduced the perfume Suivez Moi Jeune Homme under their own name in 1930..

A very rare bottle for the perfume Odeur Charvai by Tre-Jur was launched in 1926. It ws a black glass half moon shaped bottle with a metal over cap, it had a small glass inner stopper. Tiny label on the side and the bottle stood 6" tall.

Dimestore novelty mini perfume bottles of the 1930s often come in the shape of bells. Its possible to find rouge and powder compacts, bath powders, scented bubble foams, toilet waters and children’s novelties from Tre-Jur online. In 1958, Tre-Jur came out with a line of Little Lulu themed toiletries for children.

The perfumes of Tre-Jur:
  • 1924 Joli Memoire
  • 1925 Follow Me
  • 1925 Suivez Moi (heavy, woody, spicy)
  • 1926 Odeur Charvai 
  • 1927 Cha-Lai
  • 1929 El Vera
  • 1930 Suivez Moi Jeune Homme
  • 1934 Aphryne
  • 1934 Sweet Pea
  • 1934 Gardenia
  • 1934 Bouquet
  • 1934 Jasmin
  • 1936 Gardenia Bouquet
  • 1936 Apple Blossom Bouquet
  • 1936 Carnation Bouquet
  • 1936 Lilac Bouquet
  • 1936 Honeysuckle Bouquet
  • 1936 Nonchalant
  • 1938 Varva
  • 1949 Special Occasion
  • 1958 Little Lulu
  • 1950s Scotch & Soda men’s novelty cologne set


Varva, who may have been just a division of Tre-Jur's,  took over Suivez Moi from Tre-Jur in 1938 and introduced the eau de toilette as well as the parfum versions. In 1946, an advertisement in the Miami News for Varva’s Follow Me perfume atomizer reads” Suivez Moi or Follow Me, that refreshing, tantalizing fragrance that is the favorite of all women. Now comes with a handy atomizer that sprays a scented mist…$1.25 plus tax."

In 1938, Varva introduced a trompe l’oeil perfume bottle in the shape of a pearl ring in a box. The pearlized glass perfume bottle, sat inverted in a silvertone bakelite ring setting flanked by two faux baguette diamonds, affixed to a leatherette box base covered with fuschia velveteen.

Varva Perfumes:

  • 1938 Follow Me/Suivez Moi (for the girl of your dreams, the provocative Follow Me)
  • 1938 Nonchalant (for the devil-may-care, Nonchalant)

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