Thursday, December 1, 2011

Horse Lover’s Perfume

Women who love horses are not like other women. They would rather get a saddle for Christmas than a diamond necklace. When they get dressed up to go out, they still might have just a little bit of manure on their shoes, even if those shoes are patent leather pumps. They prefer the smell of the barn to Chanel Number 5.

With that in mind, Elliott Levy and Coleen Reed have created a new fragrance especially for horsewomen. The new scent, Eau de Cheval, (literally “water of horse”) is intended to remind horsewomen of their favorite horses and stables.

“It has sweet alfalfa and English leather,” says Elliot. “I wanted them to add a little manure, but they wouldn’t. In place of manure, there is a hint of musk.” This is described, on the website, as “that indescribable dreamy equine essence.”

The fragrance was created by RS Essentials in Aiken, a company that makes exclusive skin care products, soaps and candles using natural ingredients. RS Essentials opened on Richland Avenue last June. Elliott Levy is the executive director of the Aiken County Historical Museum.

Elliott says he is convinced that Eau de Cheval is a product with great marketing potential in the equestrian world – after all, what woman wouldn’t want to smell like the stable? It is also a perfume with a purpose.

“One half of the profits will go to Friends of the Gaston Livery Stable,” says Elliott. This group, spearheaded by Coleen Reed, is working to raise enough money to purchase the historic Gaston Livery Stable on Park Avenue. The stable, which housed a thriving business during the days of the Winter Colony, is one of only five all-brick barns in South Carolina, and the only one that still has an original carriage lift, which was used to hoist carriages into the loft for storage.

Friends of the Gaston Livery Stable has raised almost enough money for the down payment on the property. It will have to raise a lot more to complete the sale and then to set about the process of restoring the stable, which has not been used in decades and has fallen into disrepair. Eau de Cheval might be just the thing.

You can purchase your own two-ounce bottle of Eau de Cheval ($39.95) at RS Essentials or the Aiken County Historical museum. It is also available online through the website While you are visiting that site, be sure to watch the promotional videos, which feature Walker Spruell and Sharer Dale, both of Aiken. There are two separate videos, one for the English and one for the Western riding crowds. They were created by Jamie and Christi Koelker, local filmmakers who also have made documentaries about various historical subjects such as, most recently “Horse Creek Valley, a Tale Worth Telling” which was shown recently on SCETV.

Elliott says that if Eau de Cheval succeeds in raising enough money to save the Gaston Livery stable, it might later be used to raise money for other Aiken nonprofit groups. “You can’t save the world,” he says. “But you can have a positive impact on your corner of it.”

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