Black Rose's Matchbox History

Two years after I've received a little special gift of Goya's Black Rose in its adorable matchbox packaging, I received an email from Erica Baxter, the daughter of Ruthli Weilenman, who co-designed the matchbox with Jenny Rose, at Goya's packaging studio at Old Amersham, Hertfordshire, England, which was separate from the perfumery. Below is a little piece of perfume packaging history, in Erica's words.

Dear Ayala,

Following your posting in March 2006 about the little matchbox of Goya Black Rose Perfume, with the lovely story attached, I can provide some more information about the packaging.

The Goya factory maintained their own Packaging Studio, located in Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England. My mother, then Ruthli Weilenman worked there in the late 1950’s following her training at Watford art school. The studio was by all accounts a happy place to work, full of bright brains and creativity. Mum worked there with a friend, then Jeny Rose, as her supervisor. It speaks well of the balance of staffing that they have remained friends since, with Jeny and her husband recently welcomed at my parents’ Golden Wedding celebrations.

Between them the design was made and produced, in various forms which included the ‘matchbox’ size that you found. These were used for all the perfumes, and were simply a small item for sale in shops. I believe that all of these boxes contained a bottle in the same triple-stacked bubble shape. I also understand that a display board of the various Goya products in these small boxes was used to demonstrate the products to factory visitors – groups such as the Townswomen’s Guild would appear along with a factory ‘boss’ for a tour that was not always welcomed by the studio!

Jeny continues to design, including making stage sets for local productions, and Ruthli is an exhibiting artist, so the creativity was deeply ingrained in both of them, and they were delighted to hear that an item they worked on 50 years ago was able to raise interest today!

With best regards,


Le Petit Prince Moves Into a Crêpe

La Petit Prince Crepe, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

La Bohème traveling Crêperie have invented yet another amazing crêpe, reflecting the world of of Le Petit Prince. The love story between him and his spoiled rose can be now enjoyed on a flat planet of crêpe where Triple-sec-drowned-strawberries and fluffy ricotta make a bed for fresh and fragrant rose petals.

Illuminated Crepes, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Beautiful crêpes made by beautiful people, and their love for what they are doing comes across with every delicious bite of their innovative crêpes (and who they're doing it with - the crêpe caravan belongs to Bruno, Paula and their daughter Cheyenne). This is certainly the highlight of my market weekend (and my incentive) for me to keep coming to Portobello West every single month of the year. I usually go for the savoury crêpes, which make a complete meal (a very late lunch for me being a vendor at the market) - my favourites being the Brie & Pesto crêpe (brie, pesto, bechamal and fresh greens) and La Chevre (with goat cheese, black olives, caramelized onions and fresh greens).

La Bohème makes appearances at Portobello West every month, and also every week at the farmer's markets in Trout Lake (Saturday) and Kitsilano (Sunday). They also do catering.

Illuminated Crepes, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Matchbox Surprise

Here is the little cutie:

To read the full story click here. I have just edited it now to add a few more details and make some corrections. A vintage perfume always keeps more stories than can be revealed by the scent and bottle alone... I feel very lucky to know a bit more about the person that had this perfume before me... To illustrate a few details about her - she was born in New Zealand and moved to London when she was 50 years old. She was very independant and witty, and refused all her suiters and dedicated herself to take care of her old parents. She celebrated her 101st birthday at 1991, so she must be 116 now!

Black Rose

black rose 3, originally uploaded by niteseeker.

The most incredible and unexpected birthday present I received yesterday was Black Rose by Goya, from Katherine. Kat thought I would understand and appreciate it's strange beauty more than she or anyone else she knows could, so I am truly lucky!

It was given to her by Miss Erica Westmacott of Walington, Oxfordshire, when Kat was staying with her at Tallows Cottage. Erica lived a long and independant life, and celebrated her 101st birthday in 1991.

While some perfumes are famous for their bottles, this one should be famous not only for its wonderful black rose scent, but also for the box where the little bottle nestles: a little matchbox with a dark rose. Only 1/3 of the perfume is still there (about 1ml at the most I think). And it’s smells heavenly of dark burgundy rose, almost black petaled, almost dry yet fragrant than ever. The scent is quite old, and becomes faint after an hour or so, so I cannot give you very accurate impressions of the base. Overall, it is similar to Nuit de Noel, only with the rose being the theme, and less the dry Saxon moss. The base is slightly mossy, perhaps with civet and amber, only that it is not sweet. But the top to middle notes are divine and rosy, like tucking your nose in a cushion of dark petals.

I could not find any information about Black Rose, just bits and pieces, one eBay auction for an identical bottle. I was not able to find any information about the notes or even the year of release. If you know anything about Black Rose, please share your knowledge with me! The curiousity will kill the cat but also will spill most of the precious perfume from the bottle onto my thirsty skin, and I do not have enough of it to fully recover its secrets…

p.s. I will be adding a photograph of this perfume and it's packaging tomorrow…

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