Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley perfumes was founded as an offshoot of the fashion and home furnishings design business of Laura Ashley.  She founded the company in 1953 with her husband, Bernard, and it was based in England.  Originally designing home furnishings, their company came into being after Laura saw some printed fabric at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She was a quilter, and she drew the designs she wanted, and they printed them on a machine they put together for the job. Her quilter’s heart is evident in the patterns of the fabrics she became famous for. There is a joyful innocence in her designs – feminine and homey and just a little frivolous.  Audrey Hepburn brought Laura Ashley into the public eye when she wore one of her headscarves in “Roman Holiday.”  Soon customers were clamoring for the chic little scarf, and the company was retail mail order as well as being put in some upscale stores.

 Laura Ashley created several perfumes in the 1980s and 1990s – Dilys, Emma, L’Eau by Laura, Magic Garden, and Laura Ashley No. 1. All of these perfumes were discontinued, though Laura Ashley did launch three new perfumes in 2011 – Green Meadow, Pink Petals and Floral Heart.  There has been not even a hint that they may try to re-create any of the original perfumes.  Laura Ashley died after a fall in 1985 at her daughter’s house on her 60th birthday.

Laura Ashley No. 1 became the most well-known of these perfumes, a cult classic, sought after because it was like an English garden, sweet, with some primness, a quiet feminine elegance, and it came in this cunning little hand painted bottle.  Notes of peach, bergamot, orange blossom, gardenia, galbanum, narcissus, rose, jasmine, orchid, love, carnation, cinnamon, basil, sandalwood, musk, vanilla, cyclamen and oakmoss.

 

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