Hundreds of perfume bottles were recovered from the SS Republic. Some still have their original glass stoppers, and a few even contain some liquid contents. Many bear the embossed name of distinguished 19th-century perfumers, including both American and European makers such as New York's Edrehi and Phalon, and that of the renowned Pierre-Francois Lubin of Paris. One of the oldest perfume houses in the world, Lubin's fragrances were first imported to America in 1830, aiming particularly at the plantation culture of the southern United States.
Surprisingly, of the large perfume cargo aboard the ship, only three Lubin bottles were recovered from the wreck site, including two with their glass stopper intact, one of which also has some visible contents. These examples are perhaps the sole remains of a more extensive consignment bound for New Orleans and its still thriving plantation communities.
Established in 1798, Lubin’s Royal Street perfumery offered a host of scented articles including perfumes, lotions, powders and toilet waters. His products won over the Imperial Court, and were worn by the likes of Joséphine Bonaparte, Napolean’s first wife, as well as his sister Pauline. Lubin later dedicated his fragrances to the French sovereign, Queen Marie-Amelie, and eventually his perfumes were worn by all the crowned heads of Europe. The 18th-century company continued to release new fragrances into the 1980s before disappearing from the forefront. Yet, recently it has made a comeback as a newly established perfume house under the original Lubin name.