Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Caswell-Massey English Lavender

The earliest record of an English Lavender I could find is one by Yardley, launched in 1770. According to Caswell Massey's timeline of fragrance history, their "Lavender" was created in 1873, although I'm not sure this is the same scent as their current English Lavender. English Lavender is basically a simple lavender scent, this one in particular being very aromatic and sharply clean, spicy and well-mannered. Traditionally, English Lavender is a Men's fragrance but Caswell-Massey English Lavender is sold under Women's. Lavender is a key note in the Fougère fragrance family which has traditionally been marketed to men, although some have crossed over to women's as Guerlain Jicky has (Jicky is simultaneously Fougère and early Oriental, making it a unique breakthrough).

I believe many American perfumes are close in feeling to English perfumes having a clean, "just showered" character as opposed to the more intricate, heavier French (I'm thinking of some of the more complex Chypre (Greco-Roman origin)) fragrances. The Caswell-Massey line of fragrances remind me of Floris of London and Penhaligon's, all streamlined compositions but fine fragrances of the highest pedigree for men and women.

Caswell-Massey's handsome 250th Anniversary Miniature Cologne Collection is a great way to sample this historical scent.