The brand got its start in 1752 and is credited with making the scent worn by George Washington—Formula Number Six Toilette Water, a contemporary blend of which is still sold today as SuperNatual Number Six Eau de Parfum.
Caswell-Massey first opened a shop here in New York City in 1854 inside the Fifth Avenue Hotel and in 1926 opened the Lexington Avenue shop for which the brand is quite well-known. That shop was open for more than 80 years, closing in early 2010. The brand next popped up at the Limelight Marektplace (an upscale mall that took over the former Limelight nightclub, which was originally an Episcopal church). That venue came and went. And the new shop downtown (not far from the New Museum and countless beauty and fragrance boutiques in NoHo, SoHo, and Little Italy) is the first time brand fans have been able to explore and shop all things Caswell Massey in a branded boutique for years.
An opening celebration
In late October, the new Caswell-Massey shop held an opening night reception and was inundated with press, influencers, fragrance industry insiders, and VIP customers. Cosmetics Design dropped by the event to learn more about the brand’s reinvention.
The pop-up shop, called Tenth Generation, is as much a place to discover products and scents as it is an interactive exhibition where consumers can learn a bit about the brand’s history, understand how fragrance notes are sourced and blended, come to understand the sensibility of all things Caswell-Massey.
CEO Nicolas Arauz joined the brand in 2016 and has been guiding force behind the Caswell-Massey brand turn around. KHEM Studios constructed the new shop’s distinctive wooden fixtures and quilted room divider—though the result is clearly a collaboration, with Arauz bringing his own architecture background to bear on the project.
A brand from the past and for the future
A welcome placard on the wall of Caswell-Massey’s new Tenth Generation Shop reads, in part, “we stand as America’s first perfumer and one of the longest-running, continuously operating fragrance houses in the world. We continuer to innovate, search for new sources of ingredients, and create new fragrances rooted in the America story….We invite you to explore our world—and become part of this incredible story.” As Arauz tells Cosmetics Design, the shop and the brand are looking ahead “to the next ten generations.”
Tenth Generation will be open at 312 Bowery in New York City through April.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.