New York: 1882. Envelope or Cover. This 1882 advertising packet directed toward retail merchants and addressed to Creasy & Brown of Mifflinville, Pennsylvania, that consists of an
An illustrated broadsheet featuring a bottle of Cashmere Bouquet Perfume,
A 20-page pricelist listing over 200 perfumes, soaps, and scented Vaseline preparations,
A small handbill touting Reception Bouquet perfume,
A blank form to request an advertising display showcard, and
A 1-cent orange postal envelope used to mail the packet with a corner card that reads “Circular From Colgate & Co. Soap Makers and Perfumers, New York. Confidential”.. Very good. Item #009830
William Colgate, an English immigrant, purchased a giant kettle in 1806 and began rendering fat on New York City’s Dutch Street to make soap and candles. His business was, perhaps, surprisingly successful. After acquiring a partner and then buying him out, founded William Colgate and Company in 1813. Colgate’s first advertising—for “Soap, Mould, and Dipt Candles”—appeared in 1817, and in 1847, Colgate relocated to his brother-in-law’s starch factory in Jersey City. After William died in 1857, the business was renamed Colgate and Company.
In 1872, the company created the first perfumed toilet soap, “Cashmere Bouquet,” which proved so popular that Colgate began using the same scent to produce handkerchief perfume, toilet water, triple extract, toilet powder, and sachet powder. Soon, the company introduced additional scents and ventured into other products as well including jars of aromatic dental cream in 1873.
After the company began selling its dental cream in tubes in 1896, its toothpaste joined its soaps as the stars of its production line, and by the 1920s, Colgate perfumes were no longer sold.
(For more information, see “Innovation History” at the Colgate-Palmolive website, “Colgate & Co. Perfumers New York” from the Old Main Artifacts website at Illinois State University, and “Colgate” from the Perfume Products website.)
A terrific packet of promotional ephemera from an American toiletry company that is now almost 220 years old..