It is no wonder Rochester, NY is known as the Lilac Capital of the World. Each Spring, the heady scent from over 1200 bushes and 500 varieties of lilacs make Rochester’s Highland Park one of the most fragrant places on earth. The popularity of these beautiful May flowers inspired Rochester’s longest running festival, its Annual Lilac Festival.
In 1967, Dan Morgan, a marketer from Charlotte (a suburb of Rochester) who also happened to be a former horticultural student, came up with the idea to capture the fragrance of lilacs in a perfume. After many months of collaborating and testing, perfumers and research chemists developed a scent that combined the oils from 7 varieties of Highland Park’s lilacs.
The perfume was eventually discontinued, but at Morgan’s 50th High School reunion, pals were reminiscing about the fragrance. Morgan contacted International Fragrance, and it turned out the original formula had been preserved on microfiche! In 2003, the perfume was reintroduced with much acclaim.
This fragrances has received national awards, international gold medals, and has been presented to five first ladies of the U.S.
You can purchase Highland Lilac Perfume onsite at the Rochester Lilac Festival, but if you can’t make the festival, it is also available from Highland Lilac or from Lilac Hill Nursery. A 1 ounce bottle retails for $49.95.
If you love the scent of lilacs, a small touch of this timeless fragrance will make you feel as if you’re standing in a grove of lilacs, their fragrance wafting on the breeze.
Highland Lilac Perfume photo courtesy of Lilac Hill Nursery.