With Yardley of London reaching its groovy heyday in the late 1960s/early 70s, it’s easy to forget that it’s an old company. A very old company! Established in 1770, it was a major producer of soaps and perfumes. English Lavender soap, anyone?
Since Yardley’s soaps and cosmetics were so popular with the Victorians and Edwardians, a shop was opened in 1910 on Bond Street in London.
This Yardley ad from the April 1945 issue of McCall’s magazine, is for “Bond Street Perfume” and “English Complexion” Powder and Lipstick. It perfectly captures the glamour of the 1940s. The lovely model is wearing red gloves, a purple dress, and statement necklace and earrings. Wide-eyed, with a beautiful complexion and lush red lips, she was certainly a forerunner to all the gorgeous Yardley models to follow.
What’s interesting is that, since it was during WWII, it was noted that Yardley products for America were created in England and finished in the U.S.A. from the original English formulas, combining imported and domestic ingredients. It’s nice to know that Yardley carried on during the war, and provided a touch of familiar beauty to war-torn countries.