Long ago and far away there lived a gentleman named Michael Knudsen. He left his native Scandinavia in the
1920's and travelled to Hollywood to seek his fortune. He was a very handsome gentleman and the fates smiled;
Michael became an actor. He was incredibly charming and lived a glittering lifestyle during Hollywood's golden
era, fraternising with members of high society and cinema's elite. In the 1950's, inspired by the optimism of the
post war era, Michael re-located to New York and, supported by his friend Hazel Guggenheim, determined to
create something new for gentlemen of elegance and refinement! He conjured the very first American Cologne and
named his brand 'Gravel', as each bottle contained tiny stones from the bed of the Hudson River (a tradition that
remains to this day!).
In 1950's America the idea of a gentleman wearing perfume was outrageous, however Michael chose the name
cleverly to overcome this prejudice - an early example of intelligent marketing! He took his creation straight to the
top - then F.R Tripler on Madison Avenue - and the buyer, impressed by the concept, the fragrance (and Michael's
chutzpah) placed 'A Man's Cologne by Gravel' on their shelves. Tripler was THE fashion destination for wealthy,
influential New Yorkers and 'Gravel' soon became a huge success, securing mentions in gossip columns and the
patronage of emerging television hosts, like Jack Parr and Johnny Carson, who mentioned it on their shows.
Gravel paved the way for the huge boom in fragrance sales for men in the 1960's,
and is considered an American icon.
Michael Knudsen dedicated the rest of his life to creating unique and elegant scents for men and died at the
tender age of 98.
The collection has recently been restored by a father and son (Georg & Christian Blessing) with a passion for fine
fragrance, to unveil a little piece of history! it gives me the greatest of pleasure to be the very first Perfumery in the