Antoinette Nording was a successful perfume-maker and a pioneer within the perfume industry.
Antoinette Nording was born on 13 September 1814. Her father, Carl Wilhelm Fahlcrantz, was an army captain and later became a spice merchant, which may have inspired Antoinette Nording’s own choice of career in the world of scents. Little is known of her mother other than that her name was Brita Christina Bäckman. Antoinette Nording married in 1838 and her husband, Johan Christian Nording, was also a spice merchant.
Antoinette Nording was not particularly engaged with taste as much as scent. She had been given access to instructions for producing the highly sought-after scented water Eau de Cologne and wanted to produce and sell her own products. Up to 1864 only pharmacists had been allowed to produce perfume but when the guilds lifted their restrictions Antoinette Nording applied for authorisation for herself. On 27 November 1847 she sent in her application which was authorised three days later. However, this was not enough. As a married woman she also needed her husband’s consent. Married women remained under their husband’s legal guardianship until the 1920 marriage code was introduced. Antoinette Nording obtained her husband’s approval and then was able to begin her activities at premises located at the Hamngatan/Norrlandsgatan crossroads in Stockholm. The following year she also gained permission to begin importing French spirits in order to produce perfume.
Antoinette Nording sold four types of Eau de Cologne, the most expensive of which were supplied in polished crystal bottles. These bottles came from glassworks in Limmared and Eda. She also obtained supplies from Barnängen and Lars Montén & Co. Indeed, it was not just perfume that she sold in her shop. She also imported a number of other items, incluing soaps and make-up. These were always exclusive goods originating from England and Provence in France. Antoinette Nording benefited from quite an exclusive client base which happily paid extra for the latest and most luxurious products. These items were especially popular at Christmas time: more than 40 percent were sold as Christmas presents. Antoinette Nording was listed in the 1851 address calendar under the professional title of “Eau de Cologne producer”. This was unusual as women tended to be listed under their civic status.
In 1877 Antoinette Nording moved her enterprise to premises at Smålandsgatan 13. Her husband died five years later and she then opted to sell her business to Christina Charlotta Petterson who had worked for her for ten years. Further to the sale price Antoinette Nording also received a pension of 150 Swedish kronor each quarter to provide an income.
In 1887, four years after retiring, Antoinette Nording died at the age of 72. A fourth of her possessions were left to Christina Charlotta Petterson who continued to run the perfume business. She and her husband named the business Antoinette W Nording and they even took on her surname as their own. The business bloomed and when their daughter Ida Maria “Maja” Charlotta Nording eventually took it over it was the longest-established company in the Swedish perfume market.