I came to Caswell - Massey via J. Press. I don't know how much of it Press sells but they hooked me on Greenbriar. You pay a little extra for the packaging but I figure Press deserves it. The word perfume comes from the Latin, per, "through," and fumum, "smoke." An interesting etymological discovery since my father shared David Hackworth's affection for calling Pentagon brass, "Perfumed Princes." If anyone can blow smoke it's Pentagon brass.
Consequently, the old man is not a fan of colognes. Of any sort. I have been since my first bottle of Canoe at 13 and my addiction to Old Spice cologne and talc in the army. Nothing seemed to smell better at the time than freshly starched fatigues and Old Spice. The smell still takes me back to Ft Bragg. And for me, that's one of the special qualities of scent. How something so invisible can take you back decades to another time and all in a split second.
I'm not interested in wearing Jovan musk and hitting Bennigan's on a Friday night. I'm interested in adding some luxury to the morning's three "S's" and being grateful for that moment. Caswell - Massey has a history that goes back to 1752. When you sniff their No. 6, you're smelling what George Washington wore, and gave to Lafayette as a gift, turning him into a life long customer. According to the company, No. 6 is their costliest scent but sells for $30 a three ounce bottle. It reminds me of the more expensive and very classic, Eau D'Hermes.
I like Greenbriar and have mixed it with Ylang Ylang for a scent the Golf Foxtrot is fond of. It's citrus but the Ylang gives it a deeper earthiness. The soaps are a good value at three for $24 and since they're triple milled you can use them to scent your sock drawer without fear of losing any of the scent. In fact, according to the company, this will dry the soap out and increase its life in the shower.
The Lime is my favorite. I give it to people all the time. Just ask ADG. It's clean and reminds me of a Gin and Tonic after a set of tennis near the beach south of St Augustine, FL. I can almost feel the powder of the har tru courts. Since cologne is made with alcohol, I'm pretty sure the Caswell - Massey Lime scent isn't that far removed from a G&T.
Colognes for $10 an ounce. Soaps (and drawer sachets) for $8 a bar. One of the oldest companies in the United States. Made in the US. Trad as Trad can be... Who cares about George Washington - - It is the scent of J. Press for God's sake. And you'd be surprised how many people don't even know about it. Instead, we're spritzed with Sean Combs and Elizabeth Taylor as we defend ourselves from the department store infantry shoving scented cannon fodder at us with some slick marketing promise of celebrity. Now that smells bad.
Tomorrow: 'Their' Caswell - Massey - The history and the customers.