Lander, Ascendia and Dorothy Gray

Mr. Bubble bottle

Still wondering about our old deodorant friend Tussy

That staple of 1970s tub time, Mr. Bubble, has found a new home at Minnesota-based The Village Company. Mr. Bubble was part of the consumer products portfolio of Princeton, NJ-based Ascendia Brands, which went bankrupt in August 2008.

Mr. Bubble was part of a long number of fascinating brands owned by and assembled by Ascendia; we talked about them in early 2008. While the company was ailing (it’s hard to do Proctor and Gamble on the cheap), they had this iconic list of powerful brand names that were (and still are) quite valuable including Tussy, Calgon, Mr. Bubble, Binaca and Ogilvie.

The most storied brand that Ascendia owned was Dorothy Gray, which was the Revlon or Maybelline of the middle part of the 20th century. The company was allowed to wither and only its Satura Dorothy Gray cold cream survived as a brand. There are a large number of BrandlandUSA readers searching for Dorothy Gray Satura; apparently the brand has a following in Korea, or so say Ascendia’s SEC filings.

While a bankruptcy is never nice, it is good that many of the former Ascendia brands have ended up with smaller, more entrepreneurial companies that can develop them better and tap into their legacy. Here’s what happened to some of the other brands.

  • Dr. Fresh Inc. of Buena Park, Calif. bought the Binaca, Tek and Dentax brands of dental products
  • Village Company purchased Mr. Bubble
  • Helen of Troy (NASDAQ: HELE) bought the Ogilvie home perm business

We still don’t know what happened to Tussy deodorant (that’s the one you put on with your fingers as a cream) and Calgon (take me away) bath beads.

However, Grand Brands LLC brought the Lander brand name; Lander was founded in 1920 by a fellow named Charles H. Oestreich and it makes a wide assortment of health and beauty aids including shampoo, mouthwash and foam bath.

Other products sold by Lander (which was more a company brand than a product brand) included a large number of perfumes and over 30 brand names and four subsidiaries including Lundborg Perfumers Inc. and Mac Gregor Men’s Toiletries Inc. We found a list of Lander perfumes from the Ebay seller Cleopatra’s Boudoir. They are:

  • 1917 Pixie, reintroduced in 1954
  • 1935 Movie Star
  • 1937 Dorothy Deanne
  • 1937 Dorothy Reed
  • 1939 Romantic Days
  • 1940 Black Orchid
  • 1942 Black Panther, reintroduced in 1962
  • 1943 Cave Man
  • 1943 Forbidden Secret
  • 1943 Stolen Secret
  • 1943 Untamed Perfume
  • 1943 Tiki
  • 1947 Golden Apple Blossom
  • 1947 Golden Corsage
  • 1947 Golden Gardenia
  • 1948 Emily Page1950 Samezi-Soir


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

1 Comment

  1. What do I think of Mr. Bubble? Love it! I’m in my late 40’s and I still have the time of my life when I get into a bubble bath with Mr. Bubble! Yes, I put on a beard and scoop up bubbles in my hands and blow as hard as I can and bubbles fly all over the place. I guess I’m just a big kid and I’ll probably never grow up.

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