Oh! de London Luv Dust by Yardley

I ran across this little treasure last week, and even though I don’t really “collect” cosmetics, I will pick items like this up when they are really interesting and/or super cheap.  This powder mitt with Luv Dust fits the bill.

I’ve written before how Yardley was quick to capitalize on the “London Invasion” thing started when the Beatles first visited America  in 1964.  They hired another icon of the British Scene, Jean Shrimpton to be the face of Yardley.  They gave the products catchy names and packaged it all up in lavender and blue stripes.

Several years ago I found a full bottle of the Yardley perfume, Oh! de London at a thrift store.  I put it on ebay and promptly had people fight over it.  Seems like I sold that bottle for around $250.  It appears that someone is now reproducing the perfume, though it is easy to tell from the vintage as the packaging is different.

And I have no idea if the scent is the same.  I was too young for cologne when it was so popular in the 60s, but I was not impressed with the contents of the bottle I found.  I was afraid that it had “turned” but the buyer was delighted with it and said it smelled exactly as she remembered.

The Luv Dust mitt is quite nice.  I don’t think it was ever used, as it is full of powder still, and it just has that new, unused look.

“…powders you with the scent for young lovers everywhere…”

There’s that word again –  young.  Do you think it was possible that we were so inundated with the concept of younger is better that we actually began to believe it?

I only bring this up because it seemed that last week everywhere I turned on the web, women were discussing age.  Many were questioning whether they were just doomed to the elastic waist pants set.    Even I mentioned it in my post about sewing a pair of shorts.

Isn’t it a shame that we spend so much time and energy fretting over aging?  I’m going to blame all those (M)ad men who tried so desperately to sell youth to the young in the 1960s.   The reality is that so many of us have allowed ourselves to devalue our aging selves, and that is sad.

Last year I spent a lot of time with my sister, who though seven years younger than me, was in some ways wiser.  I’d lament about my weight or my wrinkles, and she would gently remind me that I was judging myself too harshly.  Since her death I’ve come to realize what a gift her words were.   And I’ve come to see my age as a gift as well.

The perfect antidote to all the aging lamentations was a quote from author Kathleen Norris,  quoted on the American Age Fashion blog:

Age has drugged itself with bridge and movies and vain trips to the beauty parlor. One of the benefits of age is to wear the clothes one likes. Childhood is not often consciously happy; and youth almost never so.  But… age could be a sort of leisurely savoring of the distilled delights of all the mistaken years…



Filed under Collecting, Curiosities

24 responses to “Oh! de London Luv Dust by Yardley

  1. Lovely – both the powder mitt and your post!


  2. Wow! Your post touches on so many interesting topics.
    First off, I never knew that vintage cosmetics would be that collectible.
    Yardley was marketing itself to a young audience, but as you point out, a factor in appealing to young women was making them think they were the somehow different from ‘anyone over 30.’ I recall a young colleague saying that she was afraid that a contemporary song about sex played at her wedding reception shocked her older relatives. I wanted to say that there have always been bawdy/risque songs; it’s not like her generation invented them, so I doubt they were “shocked”.
    Your sister’s wise words are ones to live by. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 47, at the very time I was beginning to worry about aging. However, that diagnosis quickly made me appreciate aging– because the alternative is not something anyone would want. The lyrics to Michelle Shocked’s song “When I grow up, I want to be an old woman” became my anthem.
    Thank you for the Kathleen Norris quote. It certainly encapsulates my sentiments about clothes (given that I can be accused of dressing like a 16-year-old in a 1970s issue of Seventeen magazine.)


    • Nothing like cancer to put it all into the proper perspective. It’s not a teacher that any of us want, but boy, it sure know how to get a point across. I’ve glad you are here and enjoying life!


  3. I owned that very mitt and another in a different scent which escapes me. It made me feel very luxurious using it.

    Thank you for bringing me a joyous evening!


  4. Fab! (as we used to say back then)
    I think that we baby boomers might be held responsible for the cult of youth. The swinging 60s with its music and fashion gave young people a strong and individual voice and presence in society for the first time.


  5. Great find, Lizzie! I remember my friends and I repeating the Yardley ad jingles in the early 70s; we were so amused by the “Oh! de…” pun.

    Your sister’s and Kathleen Norris’s words are truly wise. Thanks for sharing them here…


  6. Really cute find, Lizzie! And I love your thoughts on aging. I’m only 44, and it makes me laugh when I see people my age and younger fret about aging. I like Joyatri’s philosophy: embrace aging. The alternative isn’t so great.


  7. Thanks for the link, Lizzie! And I distinctly remember having a powder mit like that in my teens. It might have even been from Yardley, since I loved the brand. Although it looks lovely, I remember it making a big mess since you couldn’t control how much powder came out.


  8. I love the old packaging! What an interesting find!

    I have a friend who is in denial about her age. She won’t ever tell anyone how old she is and always implies that she is just a “little bit older” than me when talking about age. (What she doesn’t know is that I learned her real age years ago when I saw her drivers’ license.) She is much older than she looks but I can tell she is sooo insecure about it. I know she lets doctors and pop culture get to her, but I really think she would be happier if she would just admit (and own!) her age around everyone. I think she believes that she wouldn’t have many friends if they knew she was so much older than them. And I honestly don’t care how old someone is.

    I think that being in my ’30s has finally allowed me to reach the point where I am comfortable wearing what I like and not what I’m told I should wear based on age. I look forward to being that little old lady who doesn’t care a bit what anyone thinks of her and what she wears!


  9. Thanks for the inspiring post Lizzie!


  10. Oh Lizzie, this post brought a tear to my eye (but in a good, positive way). It’s something that I feel more since my mother died (the tug of age). Your beautiful words remind me that this is a time to celebrate who we are, and not worry about “staying young” (I’d never want to go back to my teens or 20s anyhow – they were a rough time!). Hugs to you –


  11. Trisha

    Is this Luv dust mitt for sale? Please say yes!


  12. Jacky Rittlinget

    Where can I buy this ode Lindon piwder and cologne especially the powder


  13. LJohnson

    Very nice find. Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing how one little item from the past can bring out so many memories and made me realize how monumental it was. I’ve been looking for this for a long time. My big sister (10 years older, who was always fashionable and a go getter, very hip) gave us (I have a twin) each one for Christmas in the 60s. It’s funny, but my sister was pretty naive and probably thought that “the scent for young lovers” referred to the product for little girls! Well if she took it out at the store the mit was small enough for a little girls hands. I loved it. We had a big family and didn’t have much, but thought we were princesses after using this after our baths. We just new we were meant for greatness!!! Lots of smiles at this point. It’s a smell you never forget and always try to find. Not that I’m trying to go back, but every year since at Christmas I’ve tried to find something comparable for myself, and later to give my daughter, and now my little granddaughter, but haven’t found anything yet. That was one little gift that turned a little girl’s thinking that her life was not going to be any better, into realizing what it could be. I think it’s just finding the scent again as a reminder of the possibilities and wanting to pass that along to my girls. So happy to see this. Enjoy and thanks again.


  14. Jacky Rittlinger

    I want to buy this. Will you sell it to me?


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