Atkinsons of London is a British perfume house founded in London in 1799. The brand was relaunched in September 2013 after a long period off the market.
It was founded by James Atkinson, who was later joined by his brother Edward Atkinson. James Atkinson traveled to London from Cumberland in the far north of England, with detailed recipes of toiletries and fragrances that he had concocted, along with bear's grease balm and a real bear.
They created fragrances, toiletries and cosmetics at their factory at the Eonia Works, Southwark Park Road, Rotherhithe, London. At first Atkinson's most successful product was a hair pomade made with bear grease. In 1832, James Atkinson was appointed Perfumer to the Court of St. James.
Professor John Strachan in Advertising and Satirical Culture in the Romantic Period notes that James Atkinson was best known for his bear's grease product, which remained in production until after the First World War. Atkinsons' logo was a chained bear and this was heavily featured in their advertising. Bear's grease was supposed to facilitate the regrowth of hair for bald men, a claim made by Atkinsons and others.
As well as King George IV, who gave the firm his Royal Warrant, notable customers included the Duke of Wellington, Admiral Lord Nelson, Beau Brummell, Sarah Bernhardt, Emma, Lady Hamilton, the Tsar of Russia and the King of Italy.
In 1926, the architect Vincent Harris built the Atkinsons Building, at 2–4 Burlington Gardens, London, now a Grade II listed building on the corner with Old Bond Street and Burlington Gardens. It was built in the Gothic Revival style and includes Arts and Crafts detailing. The Atkinsons Building is now occupied by a Salvatore Ferragamo women's fashion store.
After a period of disuse, the brand is now owned by the Italian-based company Perfume Holding, and was relaunched in September 2013. The brand had been sold several times in the early 2000s, before being bought by Perfume Holding from Procter & Gamble in 2008. According to the CEO of Perfume Holding, Enrico Ceccato,
In the 19th Century, Atkinsons was the Chanel of its day. It was the market leader, the most recognized fragrance brand in society and one of the only brands of its kind to have stores in multiple markets. We wanted to recreate that authenticity, luxury and exclusivity for today's discerning and affluent consumer.
In 2015, Atkinsons officially launched in the Philippines through a posh tea party in Pangea, City of Dreams. The perfume line will be available in Art of Scent stores in Manila.