Saturday, April 5, 2008

Colgate Perfumes

When the Colgate Company won top prizes for their soaps and perfumes at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, the line became wildly popular. This mini set, sold throughout the early 1900s was something many young ladies put on their Christmas wish lists. The set included two popular scents (Lilac Imperial and Dactylis) and a tin of talcum powder.

Colgate began as a starch, candle and soap company in 1806, but when the founder passed on in 1857, his son began experimenting with perfumes and essences. Cashmere Bouquet, a milled perfumed soap introduced in 1872, is still available today. When we think of Colgate, we think of toothpaste--and with good reason. Prior to the 1850s, people used tooth powders or soap to brush their teeth. In 1873 Colgate started the mass production of a new toothpaste cream in a glass jar. Colgate introduced its toothpaste in a tube similar to modern-day toothpaste tubes in the 1890s.

With increasing competition from companies like Mennen, Peet Brothers, Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson, The Colgate company at some point decided to focus on staying on top in the personal care area. They decided to forget about trying to create more award winning fragrances since this was a costly and time consuming endeavor.

In 1927, Palmolive merged with Peet Bros. to became Palmolive Peet. In 1928, Palmolive Peet merged with Colgate to form Colgate-Palmolive-Peet. In 1953, the name was shortened to just Colgate-Palmolive.

Dennis, a corporate history buff, did all of the research for this post.