June 16, 2020
Perfume Passage Foundation is dedicated to preserving the history, beauty, and artistry of perfume bottles, compacts, ephemera and related vanity items. The Foundation seeks to educate and inspire visitors by illuminating the connection between perfume and the human experience

Celebrating Father's Day - An American Classic
Shulton Company - Early American Old Spice

At the height of the Great Depression, the  Shulton Company, created by William Lightfoot Schultz in 1934, was engaged in soap manufacturing. 

The first Old Spice® product, called Early American Old Spice for women, was introduced in 1937, and the following year was followed by Old Spice for men.   In 1938 the company had a very successful year in which the annual sales grew ten times in one year and tripled the following year. 

It has been said that Schultz was inspired by his mother's rose jar when creating the early version of Old Spice. A rose jar usually held a moist potpourri of rose petals, spices and herbs in a base of salt to preserve them.

These notes of carnation, rose, spices and powder on a woody musk base was described in early advertisements as a "tangy spice and rose petal enchantment." Those notes can still be detected in Old Spice's products to this day.
Fragrance Composition:

Early American Old Spice for Women by Shulton, 1937
  • Top notes: Orange, Lemon, Lavender, Basil, Petit Grain
  • Heart notes: Iris, Cloves, Carnations, Geranium, Lily of the Valley, Rose
  • Base notes: Patchouli, Mysore Sandalwood, Cedar, Herbs, Ambergris, Vanilla and Musk

Old Spice for Men, 1938
  • Top Notes: Orange, Lemon, Spices, Clary Sage, Aldehydes
  • Heart Notes: Cinnamon, Carnation, Geranium, Jasmine, Heliotrope, Pimento Berry
  • Base Notes: Vanilla, Musk, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Benzoin, Tonka, Ambergris. 
The nose behind this fragrance is Albert Hauck. 
In 1937, Bullock’s department store in Los Angeles suggested that Shulton develop a line of cosmetics and perfumes with a colonial theme, based on the good sales of furniture in this particular style.

The project turned out to be too expensive for one department store, but nevertheless Schultz decided to release his product on the American market. Shulton already had Old Spice soap in the line; the name of the fragrance expanded it a bit.
In 1937, when the Early American Old Spice perfume set for women appeared on the US market, it consisted of talc, soap, toilet water, powder, and bath salts. The packaging in the colonial style, which looked like it was painted by hand, was reusable, for example, as a box for napkins, knick-knacks, spices, or as a sewing box. 
The bottles and boxes were painted in the style of German or Dutch immigrants who settled in America.
The perfume bottles were clear glass with naïve folk art styled enameling of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) figures. Shulton’s perfume bottles were an homage to the early glasshouses of "Baron" Heinrich.  

Wilhelm Stiegel of Philadelphia and Casper Wistar of Alloway, New Jersey, manufactured and  decorated flasks known as bride‘s bottles/colognes. Stiegel was the first American glass manufacturer to enamel glass. Pieces made of white, or clear, glass have their decoration of birds, tulips, and scrolls painted on with red, green, and yellow enamel. Museums around the country display relics from these historical glassworks and no doubt Schultz would have seen them.

With the colonial theme, Schultz was interested in maintaining a colonial framework and chose a nautical theme for Men’s Old Spice. Thus, sailing ships, in particular colonial sailing ships, were used as a trademark. Through continuous use and advertising, the various ships have become a valuable trademark identifying the Old Spice product for men. 
The original ships used on the packaging were the Grand Turk and the Friendship. Other ships used on Old Spice packaging include the Wesley, Salem, Birmingham and Hamilton. 

Since the men's fragrance sold better (there were practically no competitors on the men's shelves), Shulton focused on the male portion of the Old Spice line – using the image of captains and sailors who were successful in love affairs. There were a lot of people who wanted to add some spice to their lives! 

The men’s line in 1938, consisted of shaving soap in a mug, aftershave and cologne, talc and soap. The image of a sailboat first appeared on it – first Grand Turk, then other famous ships – to distinguish the men's products from the feminine ones.  Old Spice Original grew out of the masculine line.

According to the brand, the masculine fragrance changed slightly from the feminine one, featuring more spices, woody notes, and coumarin. But it still seems that the gender perception of the fragrance is influenced more by its appearance, packaging, and advertising, not by its smell. In the 1940-50s, the men's fragrance began to simply be called Old Spice, leaving the "Early American" prefix to the feminine fragrances. 
The bottle design for men’s Old Spice was taken from a Colonial American era apothecary jar and was executed in heavy pottery, reminiscent of Early American Colonial dishware.  The Hull Pottery Company in Crooksville, Ohio, developed a number of wooden and pottery prototypes for product bottles.  Examples of these early designs can be found in the archives of Procter & Gamble's home office in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Pictured: Hull Wooden Models on the left, and Hull Pottery Samples pictured on the right).
"Old Spice, a fragrance blended of crushed rose petals and tangy spices  –  arresting in its simplicity, unforgettable in its loveliness. Subtly suggestive of the days when swishing skirts swept into graceful curtsies. Available to you in a captivating assemblage of Early American Toiletries, packaged in colorful treasure type containers."

The emphasis on advertising was “Made in America,” on the basis of its stability and regularity of life in past years. Advertisements highlighted “America’s Own Aroma,” as the first advertising posters shown. The French fragrances of Caron and Guerlain were expensive, but the Early American Old Spice scents were patriotic. And cheaper as well.
I n the 1960s, Shulton advertised all of its fragrances together. Above, the familiar red and white bottles for men with white and blue sailboats; and below, perfumery sets for women with a changed design: Early American Old Spice, Desert Flower, Escapade, and Friendship Garden.

In 1970, Shulton first encountered a sales decline.  Its inexpensive fragrances had become “the aroma of grandparents” in the US. Around this time, the feminine version of Early American Old Spice was discontinued, leaving the masculine fragrance alone.
Shulton was sold in December 1970 to The American Cyanamid Company, a chemical company headquartered in Wayne, NY which wanted to diversify its portfolio by entering the cosmetics segment.  Expansion was important for the new owner, and a variety of fine fragrance products were made and sold by Shulton under license, including products under labels Nina Ricci, Pierre Cardin, Tabac, and others.  A legal suit for monopolistic business activities was brought against the company in 1982 and they were forced to divest Burley and Man-Power brands. 
Since its founding, Old Spice has had two fonts.
Top: 1938 – 1950s
Bottom: Introduced in the 1950s and has remained through present.

This is an Old Spice, spice rack! The six small bottles are like the 1960s travel bottles and are marked: Ground Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Italian Seasoning, Oregano, Marjoram and Garlic Powder.  

The backs of the bottles are blank but the red tops are embossed with a compass rose. The rack is made of thin plywood and measures 14 inches wide. There is a steel rod across the front, holding the bottles in place. It is believed this product was made in, and for Canada.
In June 1990, American Cyanamid parent company sold its Old Spice and Santa Fe product lines to Procter & Gamble Co. of Cincinnati.  The new owner beat the historical legacy with the slogan:

"The original. If your grandfather hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist." 
P&G Founders - William Procter and James Gamble
Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice is the quintessential men’s grooming brand. With more than 75 years as an American icon, Old Spice is the authority on the male grooming experience and has leveraged this heritage to become the No.1 selling anti-perspirant/deodorant stick and body wash brand with guys of all ages. Old Spice brings authenticity, performance and confidence to male grooming and offers a wide product portfolio for today’s man, also including body washes, body sprays, after shaves and colognes. 
The fragrance has become a part of American culture; it is not easy to meet a person who does not know about Old Spice. 
There’s an emerging disruptor in the beauty industry — men.
Once upon a time, men who spent too long in front of a mirror grooming themselves were thought to be narcissistic, pompous or even decadent. It's obvious that public attitudes have come a long way and the changes today in personal grooming for both men and women is a necessity and a definite desirable trait!

In the News
We continue to keep the museum temporarily closed at this time due to the Covid19 pandemic out of abundance of caution.

We will be assessing new developments and resume tour dates as soon as it is deemed safe and reasonable.

In the meantime, we will be continue creating a series of short videos which you may visit on our Youtube channel.

We Look Forward to Seeing You Once We Open Again

Located in the Chicagoland area, the Perfume Passage Foundation is 38 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and 25 miles from O'Hare International Airport.

Types of tours include:

  • Private docent-guided tours
  • Group tours
  • Symphony of Scents and Sounds