Founded in 1770 in the reign of George III, Yardley London’s proud British heritage stretches all the way back to the 1600s, when King Charles I granted Mr Yardley a concession to make lavender-scented soap for the unclean masses.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the business continued to grow, and during the 1940s it was producing make-up in its Basildon factory and advising women to put their best face forward every day while helping with the war effort. In 1956, it launched refillable lipsticks – an innovative and forward-thinking concept for the time. In the 1960s, British model Twiggy became the brand ambassador and fronted the campaign for a pioneering range of false eyelashes. Today, the oldest fragrance house in the world continues to flourish.
It was in the 1930s that Yardley London became renowned as the pioneer of its English Lavender fragrance, when the house commissioned scientists to scour the globe for the finest varieties. In fact, Yardley London discovered the beautifully scented Lavandula Angustifolia in the fields of southern England. A version of the original lavender fragrance it created has been modernised for today’s consumer and remains the brand’s signature scent. Today, that fragrance uses over 400 litres of lavender fragrance annually and a Yardley English Lavender product is sold every minute around the world.
Over time, the brand has received six royal warrants and Yardley London continues to launch prize-winning fragrances and win significant beauty awards for its bath and body products.
In 2020, its 250 For Her eau de parfum, launched in order to celebrate the brand’s 250th anniversary, was shortlisted for a Pure Beauty Award. The fragrance, alongside 250 For Him, was launched in collaboration with the Look Good Feel Better cancer charity to provide regular cash donations from sales, in line with Yardley London’s unwavering commitment to giving back. Yardley London is also proud to continue supporting British manufacturing and generating millions of pounds in commerce for the British economy.
Evolving to meet its consumers’ needs, the Yardley London fragrance portfolio now offers a broad range of olfactive choices for women of all ages and tastes with the ever successful Traditional Florals, the new Contemporary Florals and the Flowerful Collection. There is also a gentleman’s fragrance range and a luxury bathing collection, Flowerazzi, and a new collection of hand washes, inspired by botanical ingredients. The majority of its product range is now suitable for vegans and contains up to 98% naturally derived ingredients. Yardley London’s annual gift range comprises luxurious, but affordable treats for any occasion, which aim to surprise and delight the recipient.
Committed to reducing its impact on the environment, Yardley London is now including recycled plastic in its packaging and has removed plastic entirely from its cartons and gift set packs. It also uses Forest Stewardship Council-sourced cartons and only recyclable materials where possible.
While continuing to trade successfully from its traditional shops and store outlets, the brand is building its appeal among new audiences increasingly via e-commerce and creating new, relevant content for its social media platforms.
It has a fine tradition to build on and as it continues to evolve, the world’s oldest fragrance house is confident it will continue to delight customers for many more generations to come.