What started as a delightful childhood indulgence, followed by a yearning for a signature scent,
turned into a passionate vision and dream to be shared…
It was in 1939 when Florence Gunnarson, America’s first female perfumer, created the perfumed bath oil category and began hand-blending her coveted oils. Only a discreet clientele of film stars, famous first ladies and the sophisticated set were privy to the luxurious bath blends. Luckily, the Florence Gunnarson secret was passed down from generation to generation.
As a young girl growing up in the early 1900s, Florence Gunnarson was fascinated by the collection of exquisite perfume bottles set out on her mother’s dresser in their home on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. She was intrigued by the mysterious scents and intoxicating aromas.
Born into a family of privilege, Florence traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Far East. From the fir trees of the Black Forest to the aromatic bazaars of Turkey and the white-flowered fields of the French countryside, these trips, combined with her love of perfumes and their accouterments, inspired Florence to mix her own perfume blends.
Encouraged by her mother’s philosophy that a woman should pursue her dreams, Florence Gunnarson Fine Perfumes was launched in 1939. The glamorous film stars, famous first ladies, and stylish women adored her exclusive collection of hand-blended perfumes.
Florence’s ideas flourished. She went on to create a perfume that women could bathe with⎯a luxurious true perfume infused into a bathing base that would leave women cleansed, moisturized and wonderfully scented. Always ahead of her time, Florence Gunnarson, credited as America’s first female perfumer, was also the inventor of the perfumed bath oil category.
A cult-like following developed; everything was sold by word of mouth. Her clients truly appreciated the incredible quality of her products and treated them like a treasured heirloom to be passed down from generation to generation, friend to friend. In fact, you could not purchase her fabulous scents unless you happened to have Florence’s private phone number. Today, privy perfume lovers are still clamoring to purchase these vintage oils.
Treat yourself to a truly aromatic experience. Disperse one or two capfuls under running
water for a delightful bath. Pour a small quantity on a mesh body puff for a refreshing
shower. Or, dab a few drops on your pressure points for a wonderful perfumed scent.