The History of Tweed Perfume

by Maureen Katemopoulos

“Lentheric Tweed” is not to be confused with the Tweed scent created especially for the Hollywood actor, Cary Grant (1904-1986) by the British-based House of Creed. Both original products have vintage status and a fabled history. But while the House of Creed still sells “Green Irish Tweed” products, which were introduced in 1985, Lentheric no longer exists as the French manufacturing company it once was.

Name

Some sources attribute “Lentheric” to the name of a 19th-century hairdresser, Guillaume Lentheric, who opened a fashionable salon in Paris in 1875 at Rue St. Honore. This exclusive address meant that his clientele were members of Parisian society, for whom Lentheric apparently created exclusive perfumes after turning his attention to perfume making.

Time Frame

Although the precise launch date of the Lentheric Tweed perfume is not certain, there is general agreement that it came onto the market between the mid-1920s and 1933.

Features

In the United States, Tweed was a popular perfume between the 1940s and the early 1960s and was targeted at young women. It had the image of a sophisticated yet conventional scent, suitable for young ladies as a first scent.

Promotion

A 1957 advertisement for a $60,000 contest gives some insights into the promotion of Lentheric Tweed. The first prize is a trip for two to Paris and a $6,000 mink coat. The later "Blame It On Tweed" advertising campaign was apparently very successful, and ran for several years in the 1960s (see References).

Later History

In the 1960s, British-American Cosmetics (a division of British-American Tobacco) bought Lentheric. Yardley products were among the other cosmetics products owned by BAT. In 1989, Yardley and Lentheric came under the umbrella of a new company, Old Bond Street. In 1998, a British company, Shaneel Enterprises, bought Lentheric Tweed.

Renamed

In 2004, the Lentheric name was changed to Mayfair and a number of the former product lines were marketed under the new name. Some Tweed products are available for sale online, including at The Vermont Country Store (see Resources).

About the Author

Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.