Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mr.Selfridge and a Lady's Perfume

A working girl needs a wardrobe, though in my upcoming Cosmo Hot Reads from Harlequin, NAKED SUSHI, Pepper O'Malley, my heroine, wears only yellow pom pom chrysanthemums and a banana leaf for her gig as a sushi model.

Lucky girl.

But most of us with 9 to 5 jobs have to plan what we're going to wear each day. Casual...or sexy heels and skirt. Jeans and a tee? Whatever your choice, we have much to choose from in our local department store or boutique.

It wasn't always that way.

I've been watching Mr. Selfridge on about the American who opened up Selfridge's department store in London in 1909. Oh,what fun! The beautiful store windows alone make it worth watching, but the interesting facts about how department stores have changed over the past 100 years is fascinating.

Did you know that at Selfridge's--

Ready-to-wear didn't exist; a lady came in for fittings, then her garments were made.

Cosmetics were sold under the counter so as not to offend a lady's delicate nature.

All the salesgirls wore black. I imagine the reason for this was so their appearance wouldn't detract from the merchandise they were selling.

Harry Selfridge made shopping an event, not a chore. He displayed a small plane in his store and even had the famed ballerina Anna Pavlova dance for his customers.


Perfume was sold at the front of the store to mask the smell of horse manure clinging to the customers' shoes.

So the next time you go shopping at your local department store, stop at the perfume counter at the front of the store and enjoy a splash of your favorite fragrance.

You have Mr. Selfridge to thank for that.

Click here to see a wonderful array of photos and pix from Selfridge's.


CaroleDee said...

Loved that show! The last episode aired a couple of months ago in the UK and it was the highlight of my Sunday :( Can't wait for season two.

Although, I do wonder how much about their personal lives is fiction. I kind of feel bad they're putting their family drama on blast for the world to see. But the drama is oh, so good ;)

Jina Bacarr said...

Thank you so much, Carole, for letting me know there will be a season two!! I'm still watching the episodes (I've seen them at least twice on

I wondered, too, about how much is fiction. I did read that Lady May is a combination of ladies in a high social position who were friends of Harry. Got to dig for more details...