Wednesday, July 09, 2008

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,


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At March 07, 2009 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ayala,

I have a box of Goya Black Rose matchbox. It was my aunt's and after she passed away, we found it amongst her perfect condition, unopened and the small three-bubble bottle is still full of the riginal perfume. Are these rare items? If so, how much might it be worth to a collector?

Thanks for you kind reply at your convenience.


At March 07, 2009 8:30 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Hi Liam,

Black Rose is no longer in production, and hardly ever turns up on eBay. I haven't followed the price range this was sold on eBay in the past but if you are a member there, one way to find out would be to get notifications whenever it's auctioned and see what it's sold for.

Also, many of the fragrance boards have a swapping/marketplace where members can trade or sell their perfume collection surplus, so you may consider joining one of those. There is a list of links on my blogroll to the right.

Hope that helped!

At October 02, 2012 8:37 AM, Anonymous John said...

Old Amersham is in Buckinghamshire, not Hertfordshire. I remember visiting the studio in the late fifties with the school art class.


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