Yardley London is famous as a purveyor of luxury fragrances and soaps. But did you know that the much-storied House of Yardley was born in England in the mid-seventeenth century, during the reign of King Charles 1? An entrepreneurial young man named Jonathan Yardley obtained a royal warrant for the provision of all the soap to the City of London. The means by which this warrant was obtained are lost to history, however we might suppose it involved payment to the monarch of a sizeable, and no doubt welcome, sum. This first incarnation of Yardley was lost, as was so much of the old city, in the Great Fire of London of 1666; save for one detail - that lavender should be used to perfume the soaps. A century later, in 1770, the Cleaver family established Yardley London, creating the soap and perfumery business we know today. Through astute business and a convenient marriage the Yardley family once again became involved in this operation, and by the early 1800s Yardley London was back in family hands. In the following years the business thrived and prospered, its famous advertising becoming a hallmark of the times. So to 1880, and with the Victorian era at its height Yardley exported its first products to the USA, a range of English lavender soaps, naturally. Nearly a century of gradual expansion followed, first to Australia and then across the world. A succession of Royal Warrants, innovations and new products were testament to the popularity of the quintessential English fragrance. Cut to the 1960s: London is the beating heart of the swinging post-war west, and Yardley London introduces our first ever line for grooming-conscious men. Style icon Twiggy becomes the face of the brand, and Yardley enters the glamorous world of Formula 1, sponsoring the BRM team.

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