Anjou Perfume House History

History of fragrance and perfumes by Anjou

Campana Balm

The perfume house of Anjou was created by Ernest Oswalt, founder of the Campana Company, incorporated 1927. Established in Batavia, Illinois, the Campana Co. first produced the Campana Italian Balm hand lotion. The formula was purchased from Dr. Campana, a Canadian, where Oswalt took the name for his company. Ernest Oswalt was innovative with his advertising, as one of the first companies to offer free samples in magazine ads. The Campana ads were also heard on the 22-year running radio show "The First Nighter Program." After WWII the company changed the name of their famous hand lotion to Campana Balm, due to the anti-Italian sentiment.

The capital earned from the high sales of the balm paid for the Anjou fragrance line. Creative advertising was used for the perfume line. Famous pin-up and glamour artist, Gil Elvgren's 1945 Dream Girls illustration was reproduced for the Campana Balm Home Dispenser Gift Package, in-store display. In 1952, the Side Glance fragrance ad featured Ceil Chapman's fashions (Chapman was a favorite designer of Marilyn Monroe). Other artists illustrations used in the Anjou perfume ads include, T. Margo and Fernandez Balza.

Dream Girl, by Gil Elvgren, 1945

Anjou Devastating Perfume Ad 1946

Anjou Perfumes

  • 1940 - Apropos
  • 1943 - Devastating
  • 1952 - Side Glance
  • 1954 - Tai-Pe
  • 1956 - Flor de Manzano
  • 1956 - Por Siempre Ambar
  • 1956 - Ninoska
  • 1957 - Celestial
  • 1958 - Malmaison

In August 1960, a set of three perfumes was available from Parfums Anjou in Batavia, Ill. The perfume set included: Devastating, Side Glance, and Celestial. Each bottle was approximately 2.5" high by 1.5" wide. The bottom marks on the bottles were as follows: Devastating, 4 raised dots in shape of a diamond; Celestial, 3 raised dots in shape of triangle; Side Glance, 1 raised dot.

Anjou Fragrance Set, Devastating, Celestial, Side Glance perfumes, 1960

Campana Italian Balm – Magazine Advertisements (1937-1954)

Campana Balm Ad 1943
Campana Balm Ad 1943
Campana Balm Ad 1942
Campana Italian Balm Ad 1937
Campana Italian Balm Ad 1954

In 1956 the Campana Company was sold to Allied Labratories of St. Louis, a year after Ernest Oswalt died. Purex Corporation took over the company in 1962, and operations continued for twenty years. The building was then sold in 1982.

Campana Building, Anjou perfumes

Resources:

  1. Johnson, Jacqueline. Classic Perfume Advertising 1920-1970. Pennsylvania: Schiffer. 2007.
  2. Wikipedia. "The Campana Company." 5 October 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Campana_Company>
  3. Batavia Historical Society. "The Batavia Historian." Vol 39 No 2. January 1998. <http://www.bataviahistory.net/historian-vol-26-50/the-batavia-historian-vol-39-number-2.aspx>
  4. Martignette, Charles. "The Art & Life of Gil Elvgren." <http://www.gilelvgren.com/GE/bio.php>
  5. Perfume Intelligence. "The Encyclopedia of Perfume." <http://perfumeintelligence.co.uk/library/perfume/a/houses/Anjou.htm>
  6. WorthPoint, Worthopedia - Premier Price Guide. "3 Antique/Vintage Bottles of Perfume Original Box 1960." <http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/antique-vintage-bottles-perfume-66015735>


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