The Laroona Perfume Proprietary was established around 1898 and was located in Flinders Lane in central Melbourne.    Towards the end of 1918 the company announced plans to build a new factory in Burnley, part of Richmond, an inner suburb of Melbourne.   The new factory was estimated to cost £5000 ($10,000) and would employ up to 100 people.    The site for the new factory was on the corner of Barkly Avenue and Burnley Street and would be around 90ft x 100ft (about 28 metres x 30metres) of one storey with basement.   This building was to be very modern with laboratory, show room, packing and export room, with departments for perfumery, powders and soaps as well as fancy box making.

With WW1 recently ended the company felt that this was the right time to expand their business.   Increased demand was expected for their products which they believed were of a high standard.    The Laroona eau-de-cologne was one of their most popular lines with large and increasing sales. (See an example in the collection)  Newspaper reports of the time stated that the company produced a range of around 300 items, “perfumes of various kinds, toilet soaps and toilet articles of endless variety”.

The directors of the company at that time were Mr J. Grout and Mr J.H. Simpson and interestingly both of those surnames are connected with other perfume companies operating in Australia in the first half of the 20th Century.   Are they the same people?   Further research needed.

Known fragrances of this comany

  • Lavender & Musk
  • La France
  • White Rose
  • Carnation
  • Eau de Cologne no. 2867
  • Madame Butterfly