Yardley at 250

March 4th, 2020

March 4th, 2020

Yardley of London is one of the oldest companies in the world to specialise in cosmetics and toiletries.    The date on their packaging is 1770, but it is believed the firm started during the reign of King Charles 1 (1625-1649) when an entrepreneurial young man named Jonathan Yardley paid the King a large sum to supply all the soap for the City of London.  However all early records of the company were lost during the Great Fire of London in 1666.  All that remained was the knowledge that lavender was used to perfume their soap.


In 1770 the company was re-established by the Cleaver family as Yardley London, producing the soap and perfumery business known today.  Through astute business and a handy marriage, the Yardley family became involved again and by the early 1800s the company was back in family hands.

The signature English lavender scent was launched in 1873, proving very popular with Victorian consumers and was also imported to America in the 1880s, along with 22 varieties of soap.

In 1910 the company moved to Bond Street, being known for some years as Yardley of Bond Street, and Royal Warrants soon followed, first in 1921 from Prince Edward (who later abdicated the throne as King Edward VIII).  Other Warrants were granted by King George V, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.

1967 Twiggy became the face of Yardley and they become synonymous with the swinging sixties and Swinging London in particularly with Twiggy Eyelashes and Twiggy Paint being adopted by the youth culture, and was an integral part of the style along with mini skirts and mod fashions.  In the 1970s the brand moved into the world of Formula One by sponsoring the BRM team.

By the 1990s supermodel Linda Evangelista was the face – with Kevyn Aucoin and Didier Malige tasked to get her makeup and hair camera ready for her first advertising shoot in NYC.

Now, in their 250th year they are still producing high-quality, reasonably priced perfumes and toiletries inspired by beautiful English flowers.  They recently held an event in London to showcase their current range, while celebrating their long, beautifully scented history.  The English Lavender fragrance is still joyfully front and centre.

As part of the celebrations their Flowerful perfume range has two glorious new additions, Exquisite Peony and Opulent Rose, joining the other fragrances of Decadent Mimosa, Elegant Iris and Luxe Gardenia.  All developed with a vegetable derived alcohol base, they are cruelty free and suitable for vegans.  £20 each, available from Boots, amazon and Yardley.

Also launching this week is their latest body range; Flowerazzi, an indulgent bathing range fragranced with Magnolia and Pink Orchid.  All products contain botanical powder extracts, sustainable shea butter, vitamins A, C and E plus organic and sustainably sourced camelia oil.  The range includes Body Butter (£7.50), Body Lotion (£6.50), Hand Cream (£5), Body Scrub (£6) and Body Oil (£6).  Containing no parabens, colourants or silicones, they are cruelty free and suitable for vegans.  Exclusive to Superdrug.







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By Sarah Dann

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