Advanced Manufacturing / Maryland Small Business / Success Stories
Rosebud Perfume stays relevant by embracing their history
By Emily Witty /
September 10, 2018

A moisturizing balm infused with seven essential oils and a 126-year proven track record of providing hydration to even the driest of lips sounds like something from a high-end Parisian boutique or the Queen’s personal makeup bag. But in fact, it’s a product born and raised right in Woodsboro, Maryland. 

Rosebud Perfume Co. was founded in 1892 by Dr. G.F. Smith, a formulating pharmacist who sought to create an all-purpose salve for his customers using the purest ingredients. Taking note of the work being done in perfume houses in France, Smith utilized their unique distillation process that allowed the salve to maintain the moisturizing properties of essential oils while preserving their fragrance. The formula is used to this day in the company’s Rosebud Salve, a cult favorite among many for its ability to heal minor skin irritations, burns, dry skin, and chapped lips. 

Linda Pruitt-Michielli, vice president of Rosebud and great-granddaughter to Smith, says the key to the company’s success has been embracing their longstanding history. 

“We have been able to stay relevant because our products have been ‘old standbys’,” said Pruitt-Michielli. “We strive to compete by developing new flavors and vintage packaging to match our iconic blends.” 

The company has remained a family-owned brand and Woodsboro, a small town in Frederick County, has been their home ever since Smith was a child. The business is headquartered out of the historic building where Smith housed his pharmacy and still showcases his old drugstore bottles and preparations. The company hopes to stay relevant in the over-saturated cosmetics industry by sticking to what they know works.

At 93 years old, Vivian (left) is Smith's granddaughter and currently serves as President of Rosebud. Also featured in this photo is her daughter, Linda (right).

“It is our hope to continue expanding our business by offering our tried and true products,” said Pruitt-Michielli. “We’re developing all new products and gift sets to keep up with demand while maintaining our quality and following.”

The company has expanded to a global market, selling their eight different lip balm flavors and salves in retail giants like Sephora and throughout Europe, China, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, and South Korea. Pruitt-Michielli said maintaining the company’s growth and success has been a rewarding challenge to take on.

“I have enjoyed working with the individual customers, international distributors, cosmetic stores and chains, and retail stores,” said Pruitt-Michielli. “It is a challenging effort to keep up with the demand for new flavors and to design packaging in keeping with trends and traditions.” 


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