Birthed in the 1960s hippie era of the United States, Alyssa Ashley began its revolutionary journey to becoming one of the most well-known perfume brands rising as an act of rebellion to move alongside the changing times and generations. Dubbed Alyssa Ashley by the founder as an ode to his daughter, the brand prides itself on its innovation and quality raw materials. The cosmetics brand is closely related to the House of Houbigant which is a famous fragrance house from 1775 and well known amongst nobles and the royal court. They pride themselves on Musk being a fragrance that Empress Josephine could not go without.
Musk is their most popular fragrance and their original fragrance initially dubbed Musk par Houbigant. The company gained its popularity from Musk’s unique idea of a unisex fragrance that inspired those of the hippie movement and the younger generation. The development of the fragrance gave Alyssa Ashley its cult following that continues to this day. Containing over one hundred ingredients, they pride themselves on Musk’s all natural ingredients and how its central ingredient was a natural aphrodisiac. With the strong foundation Musk developed for the brand, they created a Musk collection to complement its core product. Eventually, in the 1990s advertisement, Musk gained its tagline “Dangerous but fun.”.
Following the production of the original Musk, Alyssa Ashley developed the products Musk Extreme and White Musk. White Musk, in particular, was one that was meant for the modern woman.
Ambergris was a popular product from Alyssa Ashley under the Houbigant Parquet division in 1975 and unfortunately discontinued in the early 1980s much to the dismay of many. Ambergris was birthed from the natural secretion from the whale's stomach also known as Ambergris. As a result, the product suffered some roadblocks due to the substance being banned from use for in the 70s making them shift to synthetic ingredients. It was later revived as a part of Alyssa Ashley’s Ambre Gris collection.
Their trendy products include their Purple Elixir brand alongside Ocean Blue, CocoVanilla, Fizzy, and Vanilla. Each of these has their own individual flair that sets them apart from other fragrances. Alongside that, they have their own set of collections such as Essence De patchouli, Ambre Gris, Oud, Hip Hop, and Marijane. Marijane has its own distinguished tagline of “Don’t Use It!” in reference to how Marijane is another moniker for Marijuana. Alyssa Ashley later released their BioLab products – their first bath and body line - with a focus on all natural ingredients to create the BioLab’s rejuvenating properties. It is the first in their line of products to take an all vegan approach. All the BioLab products are composed of more than 96% natural ingredients. Their three products consist of BioLab | Ginger and Curcuma, BioLab | Aloe Vera and Bamboo and BioLab | Tiare and Almond.
Originating in 1968 in the United States, Alyssa Ashley bloomed with the era of hippies and revolution. Alyssa Ashley’s birth was an act of rebellion to create innovative perfumes moving with the changing times and generations. The founder dubbed the brand Alyssa as an ode to his daughter alongside her nickname Ashley that he lovingly called her. For over 40 years, the brand has been consistently pursuing its goal of keeping up with the needs of all generations and the new trends. Alyssa Ashley prides itself on selecting only quality raw materials.
Houbigant and Alyssa Ashley
The House of Houbigant began in 1775 and is the only fragrance house to survive for four centuries. For generations, the House of Houbigant made groundbreaking discoveries for the future of perfumes and revolutionized their formula and development. From the start, Houbigant’s fragrances were popular with the nobles and royal courts as many carried them on their persons. Empress Josephine, Napolean’s wife, was a fan of Houbigant’s products and carried it alongside her wherever she went. She particularly loved Musk which is one she was dedicated too for a long time. Houbigant continued its popularity even to the present day. The popularity of Musk grew with the trendsetters named “Les Muscadins”. The historical lineage of Musk dates back to the luxury brand The House of Houbigant. The original formula of Musk is the same as Houbigant’s formula from 1968.
In the late 1960s, Alyssa Ashley was introduced to the Houbigant Parquet division of perfumes and thus have many fragrances that have both names on the bottles beyond Musk. The innovative brand is part of the Perris Group which is a global enterprise founded by Michele Perris in 1981 after a meeting with the last descendant in the Houbigant line. In 2005, the Perris Family finally acquired the control of the Houbigant’s name after several years of trying. Since then, the Perris Family have put in vigorous efforts to revive the Houbigant name and the prestige it deserves. The Perris Group takes perfumes and cosmetics and focuses on the production and distribution of such along with international developing whilst ensuring innovation and quality with the best raw materials.
The core of this brand is their main fragrance Musk. Its well known for being an androgynous fragrance with a special formula of more than a hundred components from all around the world. The ingredients are able to adapt to the needs of men and women and has been the basis of the success of this brand. With a legacy of encompassing both the desires of man and woman, the fragrance has developed a sensual and immortal scent yet it's innovative and ever powerful as it has a cult following around the world. At the beginning of the Musk line, the central ingredient was from an animal and that combined with the perfume made Musk a natural aphrodisiac. The animal was discovered in the Orients and initially used for medicinal purposes. The original ingredient has since been replaced with synthetics in order to preserve the species.
Since Musk was developed in the hippie era, it sparked inspiration in Houbigant resulting in the androgynous scent. The logo of Musk par Houbigant is the linkage of the male and female signs representing how the scent is universal symbolizing partnership and one love and has since been internationally recognized as the symbol of the hippie era.
Musk’s development was a crucial point for Alyssa Ashley and the Musk Oil launched in 1969 as a result of the influence from the cultural shifts and world issues. The launch was a great success and the popularity of Musk Oil grew resulting in a full collection being developed in order to complement the product. It took back the ancient Houbigant formula. The product line ranged from Eau de Toilette to bath and body products. Musk continued to change with the times, particularly the branding of the packaging. In the 1980s, the packaging was updated with a simplistic black and white look with clear glass bottles. The change was made to depict the simplicity of the logo. Finally, in the 1990s the packaging evolved to be more contemporary and Musk gained its tag line “Dangerous but Fun” from a 1990s advertisement.
Their Other Products
Alyssa Ashley is not only known for Musk but other fragrances as well. Most notably, Ambergris by Alyssa Ashley in 1975. Ambergris is a substance originating from the secretion in a whale's stomach which is supposed to protect it from undigestible items. This substance is held on a pedestal by perfumers who like it for the peculiar odor it exudes which incorporates multiple scents such as sweet, earthy, musty, and sea-water. It was so special that Alyssa Ashley made a fragrance of it. It is an ancient ingredient for perfume. Historically, Ancient Egyptians used it for incense. Ambergris was later banned in the 70s due to initial assumptions that it was a byproduct of whaling industries. It was overturned in 2001, however, Alyssa Ashley has replaced it with synthetics as have most other brands in the industry. And, as with other fragrances by Alyssa Ashley in the earlier days, the mists said “Houbigant” on the front with the back of the bottle saying “Alyssa Ashley Inc. Div. Houbigant Inc.” This original product was unfortunately discontinued in the early 1980s and revived into the Alyssa Ashley collection, Ambre Gris.
Other fragrances that Alyssa Ashley produces include the classics Musk Extreme and White Musk. White Musk is intended to be for the modern woman. They have their Purple Elixir brand alongside Ocean Blue, CocoVanilla, Fizzy, and Vanilla that they list as their trendy products. Their Purple Elixir is composed of orange blossom and jasmine blended with spicy anise and citrus that gives it its enchanting charm and tempting fragrance. Ocean Blue encompasses the wild nature of the ocean with its ingredients of oranges, caraway seeds, rosemary and cedar leaves combined with patchouli, cedarwood, Tonka Beans, oakmoss and drops of vanilla and Musk to gives its final scent. The CocoVanilla is meant to give the essence of going to the beach and Fizzy is intended to make you want to enjoy life with its uplifting signature ingredients.
Alongside that, they have their collections Essence De patchouli, Ambre Gris, Oud, Hip Hop, and Marijane. Most notably, Essence De Patchouli is meant to embody the hippie movement and the soul of the 60s to revivify the free-spirited nature of that time. Ambre Gris is inspired by legends and leading to them attempting to emulate the ingredient of Ambergris in order to exuberate the fragrance’s elegance and aphrodisiac properties. Oud is split in two as Oud Pour Lui and Oud Pour Elle. Oud itself is regarded highly for its religious and curative properties from the Shinto Buddhist Temples of Japan to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The main ingredient is Agarwood also know as “Wood of the Gods” which is an extremely rare resin found in the South-east Asian Aquilaria Tree. Oud Pour Elle is a seductive feminine fragrance, and Oud Pour Lui is an oriental and mystic fragrance. The collection Hip Hop contains street style scents split into B-Girl and B-Boy depicting a modern twist on the 80s subculture of music. The final collection is Marijane Do Not Use It! with a scent meant to bring good vibes and thoughts. Marijane’s collection has the interesting tagline of “Do Not Use It!” in reference to Marijuana which Marijane is an alternative name for. This alludes to the prolific use of marijuana in the 1960s and ‘70s which was prominent during the hippie movement.
Another cosmetics line that goes outside of their usual fragrances, is Alyssa Ashley’s BioLab. It is their all-natural bath and body line formulated with the best plant-based ingredients with proven results. All the BioLab products are composed of more than 96% natural ingredients. As a result of the development of BioLab, it is the first of Alyssa Ashley’s products to take an all vegan approach. It has been dermatology tested to not harm the skin. There are three variations of the BioLab product consisting of body lotion, scented water, and shower gel. BioLab | Ginger and Curcuma utilizes one of their main ingredients of ginger and Curcuma for their strong anti-inflammatory effects and both having the qualities of powerful antioxidants as well. This also contains Vitamin E in order to counteract cellular aging. After that is BioLab | Aloe Vera and Bamboo. The two core ingredients work together to slow down degeneration and increase the production of collagens. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and as an antioxidant promotes rejuvenation in the skin. Lastly, there is BioLab | Tiare and Almond which promotes moisturization and restoration of the elasticity of the skin. Almond’s nourishing properties allows for the product to help revitalized damaged and irritated skin.
Alyssa Ashley has continued to develop their cosmetics line to not only keep with each new generation but to also remind each generation of the carefree hippie era. With Musk, they embraced the hippie era and developed their own cult following around the brand as something that still has charm to this day. Their new products have continued to preserve their message as a brand, but also continue to grow as time has passed.
- Alyssa Ashley. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://www.alyssaashley.com/
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- Donati, F. (2018, October 30). Alyssa Ashley lancia la linea Bio lab. Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://womoms.com/alyssa-ashley-bio-lab/
- Herman, B. (2009, September 25). Alyssa Ashley for Houbigant - Ambergris (1975). Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://yesterdaysperfume.typepad.com/yesterdays_perfume/2009/09/houbigant-ambergris-1973.html
- Hummel, G. (1970, January 01). Ambergris by Alyssa Ashley c1975. Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://houbigantperfumes.blogspot.com/2013/05/ambergris-by-alyssa-ashley-c1975.html
- Perris Group. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2019, from http://www.perrisgroup.com/ The House of Houbigant. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2019, from https://www.houbigant-parfum.com/us_en/the-house-of-houbigant.html