Photos: 150-Year-Old Perfume Unveiled

July 3, 2014

A 150 year-old fragrance discovered in a South Shore shipwreck was uncapped at the brand new Lili Bermuda perfume store on July 1, after being analyzed by some of the world’s foremost fragrance industry experts.

The Piesse & Lubin fragrance was discovered in near mint condition in 2011 during a dive at the Mary Celestia shipwreck; it was then passed along to Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, master perfumer at The Bermuda Perfumery.

150 Year Old Piesse & Lubin Perfume Bermuda, July 2 2014-10

Mrs. Ramsay-Brackstone proceeded to hand-carry the well-aged perfume to experts in New Jersey, where it was analyzed, and then used the experts’ analysis to recreate the fragrance using modern ingredients.

The same dive that produced the perfume find also revealed a wealth of other new information – and forgotton secrets – housed by the Mary Celestia, with the discovery of a contraband stash of private goods that was hidden inside the steamer when it crashed into the reefs off Southampton on September 6, 1864.

The stash included intact, corked bottles of wine with their liquid contents, found in the form of a wooden crate still packed with four bottles, along with a loose fifth bottle.

150 Year Old Piesse & Lubin Perfume Bermuda, July 2 2014-6

The archaeological excavation also recovered several pairs of shoes and a wooden “last,” a form used by shoemakers to manufacture footwear, a wooden hairbrush, and two other bottles, which analysis and research soon identified as a 19th century cologne and perfume.

Following the July 1 unveiling of the perfume, the 1864 artifact and the 2014 replica went on display for the public for the first time during Wednesday’s [July 2] Harbour Nights, and is available to be experienced all day today [July 3], as well.

Plans on where and how to share the historic find beyond Thursday are being finalized.

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Category: All, Business, History, Photos, Style & Beauty

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  1. Yeti says:

    Ambergris was used as a base for these older perfumes,it was used as a base to enable the longevity of pungence and to enable the fragrance to remain at its’intended state longer.So then whales became scarcer and then endangered as this occured other bases were developed.Perfumers still swear by the Ambergris , those old enough to know the difference .I know simply because it was in the perfume I purchased once a year for mama ,it was called “White Shoulders”,and it went for 80 dollars a gram in the 1960′s.This fragrance probably had Ambergris base…