Tag Archives: Yardley

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…



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Ad Campaign – Yardley, 1971

Glow back to nature with Earth Child Eyes.

I hope those of you who are within driving distance of Boston have put the latest exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on your must-do list.  It’s called Hippie Chic, and it is much more than tie dye tee shirts and jeans.

The ad, which is from 1971, is a great example of that the curator of the exhibition calls Fantasy Hippie.  And no, you did not have to be young to get away with it.  I’d like to think there is a little “hippie” in all of us.

Jo at Joyatri has a fantastic review of the exhibition.


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Ad Campaign – Yardley, 1968

Jean Shrimpton might have been the face of 1967, but 1968 belonged to Olivia Hussey.   It was the year she co-starred in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.  His timing was perfect, as the world was still enamoured with all things British.  Olivia was the perfect Juliet with her long dark hair and expressive eyes.

The Yardley people knew a cosmetics star when they saw one, and in 1968 their ads were all about Olivia/Juliet.  They even had a line of lipfrosts they called the Poetry Collection:

Yardley’s new Poetry Collection: Nine tender lipfrosts designed to make a Juliet of you.  And a Romeo of him.

Interesting, but this ad for lipstick showed a young woman whose makeup was all about the eyes.  That was the late 1960s for you!

For all of 1968, it seemed that Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, who played Romeo, were everywhere.  They were featured in magazines like Seventeen, and of course in the fan magazines like 16 and Tiger Beat.  And they must have sold a million of the poster that showed the pair touching palms.

It was right in step with the direction that fashion was heading.  After the straight silhouette and graphic feel of the Mod look, girls were ready for a softer, more romantic style.   What better than Romeo and Juliet to put us in the proper mood?


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Ad Campaign – Yardley, 1967

Click to see enlarged view

In today’s ad, we see the influence of the “British Invasion”.  I think people generally apply that term to music, but fashion, movies, and even cosmetics looked to Britain after the smashing success of the Beatles’ 1964 US appearances.

Yardley of London is considered to be the oldest cosmetics company in the world, having been established in 1770.  In the 1950s Yardley ran ads in American magazines that featured a slightly creepy (my opinion; creepy is in the eye of the beholder) Madame Alexander doll, holding a bottle of lavender fragrance.  It was a very old fashioned image.

Sometime in the mid 1960s some very smart persons at Yardley decided to cash in on the British craze.  The result was a line of products marketed to teens that were centered around a London Look theme.  The packaging was colorful, the colors the latest in fashion, and the advertising fun.  There were even TV ads that were placed on shows like The Monkees that had a teen audience.

They managed to get one of the most recognisable faces of the London Look, Jean Shrimpton, to model the print ads.  Yardley went from being the brand of grannies to the brand that gave a bit of London cool to girls everywhere.

After all the talk about Ringo in yesterday’s post, I could not help but notice that this lipstick was named the SlickeRINGO.


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