Our Story

Our Roots

Founded in 1752 in Newport, Rhode Island, Caswell-Massey is America’s original apothecary and perfumery, long considered one of the foremost purveyors of scent and luxury.

We are known for our exquisitely crafted triple-milled bath and hand soaps, our time-tested apothecary remedies, our shaving soaps, and for extraordinary grooming and shaving accessories. Caswell-Massey was the author of classic American fragrances and an early leader in developing many popular remedies such as our cucumber eye pads, almond and aloe soaps, lotions, and shaving creams.

Stewards of the brand such as Dr. Hunter, John Rose Caswell, William Massey and Ralph Taylor shared a passion and a talent for perfumery and customer service - still hallmarks of the brand today. 

Our treasured archives contain original formulas for many of our signature and bespoke perfumes, including our enchanting Elixir of Love No. 1. Our ongoing commitment to unique fragrance experiences has also yielded iconic American scents such as our Number Six, Jockey Club, Newport and White Rose.


Twentieth Century Masters

During the Twentieth Century, Caswell-Massey established its reputation as a leading perfumer by creating exclusive scents for celebrity customers, especially those willing to pay for something bespoke.  We count Jaqueline Onassis, JFK, Cole Porter, Lauren Bacall and the Rolling Stones among our fans.

In our legendary New York City Store, Ralph Taylor made it a practice to become deeply acquainted with the person he was making the scent for. For example, the perfume he created for Greta Garbo, who was known as a woman of mystery, featured nutmeg - thought to be a narcotic ‘mood enhancer’. 

Into the 1970s, there were profiles created for each customer – what they liked to do, eat, their size, shape, favorite colors and pastimes - to land on the perfect bespoke scent. Customers would ‘try on’ scents for a few weeks before their personal formulations were mastered.

Many of the fragrances offered by Caswell-Massey today are rooted in these bespoke fragrances, and many more exist in our famed archives as starting points for new fragrances we have yet to introduce to the public.

Our Future

We're so very proud to offer a new Caswell-Massey experience through the launch of our new website and new catalog in 2016. As we approach nearly three centuries of being an American Original, we plan to bring out the best from our archives, strengthen our community of loyal customers, and create incredible new products and collaborations worthy of a legendary American brand.

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