Company Spotlight: Rosebud Perfume Co.

Imagine a product that works on every part of your body, solving loads of skin issues. And surprisingly, one that contains cruelty-free ingredients. Any guesses? It is Smith’s Rosebud Salve! The creator was a multi-talented man who made a product that endures. The company even avoided animal testing way before it was “fashionable”.

We love highlighting American-made products and the companies that do so. Today, we are traveling to Maryland to the Rosebud Perfume Co. to explore the maker of this do-it-all balm. In Woodsboro, MD, visitors tour the original plant and learn about the history of the business.

George F. Smith was born in 1865 and went to college to become a teacher. After marrying Minnie R. Baer, the couple had eight children. George was a fascinating man with many interests. He worked as a bank president, served as mayor, collected cars, and loved the Miss America Pageant. Somehow, he found time to train as a druggist, which today we would call a pharmacist.

In 1895, Dr.  George F. Smith opened Rosebud Perfume Co. Using his medical training, he devised a jelly-like substance that moisturizes and protects the skin. Clients had requested just such a product, and George worked to meet their need. He named it Balsam of Rosebuds. It contained petroleum jelly and a unique mix of his own ingredients. This was later named Rosebud Salve.

I was introduced to this product years ago and am always excited to share its virtues with others. I use it on rough heels, chapped elbows, unruly brows, and more. Often when I pull it out of my bag, people ask me about it. While it is known by many, it retains a cult feel. The original ointment comes in a dark blue tin with an old-timey design. While it doesn’t have a sleek or futuristic look, this simple salve works hard. You can find blog posts dedicated to its multiple uses and honest reviews. Smith’s Salve has a long list of followers, as Allure magazine mentions here.

Dr. Smith expanded into other products, such as perfumes. George had a forward-thinking take on marketing. He put ads in tabloid papers and sent salesmen to knock on doors. He offered incentives for the salesmen to sell more. While the perfumes didn’t last, the Salve was a clear winner. As the business grew, he moved into a nearby hotel which housed them for over 100 years. If you go there today, you will see his antique bottles and jars. The building even smells like roses from the years of producing their goods.

Rosebud Perfume Co. now offers flavored lip gloss. The original tin is available, and it also comes in a tube, which makes application a breeze. Even better, the entire line of products is affordable. Found at Sephora and Ulta, this is a useful cream to have on hand for minor skin ailments. A list of available products and locations is located here on their site.

In this era of getting anything shipped to our door overnight, the Rosebud Salve can be hard to find. You cannot purchase it on the company’s site. To me, this is part of its appeal. It requires a small bit of effort but is so worthwhile.

What impresses us is the company’s desire to stay proudly American-made. For over a century, these tins and tubes of creams have been created in our country. Rosebud Perfume Co. deserves our patronage for that!