Evyan Perfumes (originally Hartnell) was founded by the Austrian-born chemist Baron Walter Langer von Langendorff. After moving to the United States and settling in New York, Langer began to apply his knowledge of chemistry to creating fine fragrances. The brand’s name was inspired by his wife: he combined her first and middle names, “Evelyn Diane,” to form “Evyan.” Langer’s work in fragrance eventually made him a fortune: as the company expanded, he lived on a palatial country estate in Connecticut and a historic townhouse in New York, and he amassed a notable art collection.
Evyan’s American-made fragrances brought Old World glamour to the American public at a time when most fine fragrance was still produced in France. The brand released several best-sellers, including Menace, Most Precious, and Golden Shadows for women and The Baron for men, but its most famous creation was White Shoulders. White Shoulders, a soft white-floral feminine fragrance, was launched in 1945. Many of its early advertisements played up its luxury aspect with the tagline “The Best the World Has to Offer.” White Shoulders has become a classic of twentieth-century perfumery, and its pink-and-gold cameo packaging, as well as its scent, is familiar to several generations of women. It remains an affordable touch of timeless style captured in fragrance.