Thursday, April 25, 2013

Two Girls 花露水

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandma and grandpa's place. There were always interesting items to be discovered although their place wasn't big and I treasured the quilt my grandma made despite the hot weather. 

Even as a child, I loved to poke around in jars and creams. Among the metal tins of Nivea & glass jars of Pond's, Chinese ladies in cheongsams usually appeared on bottles and boxes. One of them was a brand called Two Girls.

I came across a store by this brand in HK on a trip a few years ago, but didn't encounter any stores since then. However, I came across a vending machine selling its products on this trip! 

I remember grandma having  its floral dew tonic (花露水, if you translated each character individually, it'll be "Flower Dew Water"). Not quite your Melvita Floral Water but back then(I'm guessing 1940s onwards as my grandma would have been in her 20s in 1945), this was extremely popular. 

The stars of Chinese cinema in the 1940s-1960s predominantly came from Hong Kong. Hong Kong actresses and celebrities were deemed as super glamourous, with their fitted cheongsams, attention to makeup and the appeal of the silver screen. Some stars during this time include Lin Dai and Ruan Lingyu. So skincare products, coming from Hong Kong, land of the stars, must have sold well. 

Oriental beauties in cheongsams have been used on packaging in recent years to sell almost everything from cosmetics to fashion apparel to mooncakes. But the images used by this brand to me reeks authenticity. 

Note: there is a similar brand (English name is Shanghai Vive) that uses similar images. The Chinese names of Two Girls and Shanghai Vive are also similar (the first 2 Chinese characters of Two Girls is the Chinese name of Shanghai Vive). 

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