Perfume for Christmas?

14 December 2020

‘When leaving school my first working days were at the famous Zenobia which was owned by Mr W F Charles.  Two of the other co-directors were Capt. Huston, son-in-law to Mr Charles, and Mr Lax.  It was like belonging to one big happy family.’

‘I myself worked in the packing department and the other different departments were the bottling of the perfume, the labelling of the bottles and the box-making.’

‘Christmas time was a very busy time and of course, we put in a lot of overtime. I myself was taken to Mr Charles’s home in Castledine Street to wrap the presents for Mrs Charles. Besides perfume there was talcum powder and dusting powder, also soap.’ 1

Picture Ref  Zenobia Talc; Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, No copyright restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1932, employees of Zenobia in Loughborough were entertained at the Palais de Dance in Nottingham. For the occasion a huge Zenobia Lily of the Valley scent bottle had been manufactured and the “Spirit of the Lily” descended to the floor to dance for the guests. In recent years Zenobia scent bottles have been displayed in the Local and Family History Centre exhibition area in Loughborough Library and in the Charnwood Museum. Zenobia perfume bottles designed in the Art Deco style are particularly fine. 2

Loughborough Echo, 1st Jan 1965

1 From: ‘Loughborough As I Remember It,’ (Edited by Jean Carswell. Published by Leicestershire Libraries and Information Service, 1989).

2 Deakin, W.A., The Parish Church of All Saints Loughborough, Echo Press Ltd.,1966; and Pochin, Thomas, Loughborough in 1770, The Book House, Loughborough, 1970. Introduction and notes by J.D. Bennett, Editor.

‘Snippets of Loughborough History in the Early 1900s’ provided by Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers.

Additional material sourced by Alison Mott