Perfume Directory

Jockey Club (1840)
by Caswell-Massey


Jockey Club information

Year of Launch1840
Average Rating
(based on 56 votes)

People and companies

Parent CompanyThe Equitium Group

About Jockey Club

Caswell-Massey has a long heritage in American Fragrance dating back to to the late 1700s, and we have created some of the most iconic fragrances in America. First introduced in 1840, Jockey Club cologne is a classic sporting scent that was legendary in American Thoroughbred racing clubs throughout the Nineteenth Century and is truly the first 'Sport' Cologne. Often imitated but never matched, and said to have been a favorite scent of JFK (One hundred years after its introduction!)

This fragrance has been updated as part of our new Heritage collection launched in November 2017.

Jockey Club fragrance notes

Reviews of Jockey Club

ad_scott Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Interesting and old-world smelling. When I smell JC I think of the old library at Trinity College...monocles, moustaches and art deco fashion. I like this fragrance. It is best for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries or a trip to the races. The bottle, label and packaging are superb.
04th April, 2018 (last edited: 06th July, 2018)
Jockey Club was the first scent not created by founder William Hunter to be introduced by the venerable Caswell-Massey in 1840, after the Hunter family sold the business to new owners Roland Hazard and John Rose Caswell. It changed names from Dr. Hunter's Dispensary to Hazard and Caswell when this scent was launched, then Caswell-Hazard upon Mr. Hazard's death, and finally Caswell-Massey in 1876 when one William Massey joined John Caswell in ownership. During this tumultuous period of renaming and reorganization, the emphasis also shifted from the original Newport, Rhode Island shop of the late William Hunter to shops in New York City, where popularity for this scent flourished among the growing upper-middle class of the American industrial age. Jockey Club differs a lot from many other cologne-style fragrances that men used in the 18th and 19th centuries, and acts like something of a bridge between classic floral perfumery and the late 19th century/early 20th century barbershop scents that would be the new male standard upon arrival. It's not a Fougère, but is very similar to the composition of one because it does contain some tonka, however this raw note isn't comparable to the pure extracted chemical coumarin used in fougères, and acts only as part of the fixative. The real star of the show here are the florals, talc, and musk. The term "Jockey Club" itself was not unique to Caswell-Massey, as much like "Musk", "Sport", "Black", or "Intense" are used to describe a type of smell, so was the term "Jockey Club" used to denote a sporty, bracing, male-friendly fragrance in those days.

Caswell-Massey's take on the "Jockey Club" trope was the only one I know of that survived through post-WWII and until the modern day, since most such floral powder bombs had been deemed obsolete by the perfection of perfume chemistry and the fresh fougères or aromatic chypres that men started to prefer, since they were more succinctly masculine. Some more-recent selections like Swank's Royal Copenhagen (1970) would recall this kind of florals-meet-talc feeling, but not quite to this extreme. The smell of heliotrope-heavy powder had been relegated to baby products and bath talc used by old folks by the time fougères began appearing en masse, but somehow this endured when others had perished. In much in the same manner as Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet (1872) with it's very antiquated rose-heavy construction, this remained a dinosaur walking among us. Jockey Club honestly smells more dated than the even older Caswell-Massey Number Six (1789), but I feel that has more to do with the basic elements in this not carrying over into modern perfumery for men like those in Number Six, which has notes like lemon, pine, and neroli that are still very much in use for men. Jockey Club contrary-wise is quite the period piece with it's heavy use of aqueous florals such as lily juxtaposed with lilac, heliotrope, and that heavy talc note. Lime and bergamot opens this but stays most fleeting and is soon replaced by all those delicate flowers that fill the scent's heart, which is then balanced and made masculine with the musk, tonka, and slight leather base. There isn't much to really describe beyond that. It's definitely within the realms of the Victorian-era dandy, but considering it's from pre-Civil War America, I think the closest you'll get to that is the southern gendarme or various mason societies of the north, back when mutton chops were acceptable grooming for men.

Jockey Club is still nonetheless charming for what it is: a fragrance meant to deliver the bracing feeling of being at the horse races, but gentle enough to take a lady out to a dance later that evening at the ball. Purportedly it was the preferred scent of President John F Kennedy (who also liked Number Six as well but to a lesser extent), and made this his signature at functions. It had already tipped over the 100 year mark by this time and had much more efficient creations to compete against, so I wonder if JFK liked it simply because of it's antiquity? Regardless, if dry flowers, talc, and musk are your thing, then this has you written all over it. If other Jockey Club scents smelled similar in style then I can see why most of them didn't make it, and while I give this a thumbs up, I do so more on originality and quality than being wearable. Despite what the packaging says, this one is to be worn only because you want to, as I can't see how something this florid and powdery would ever be acceptable to anyone in any context outside a perfume collector, unless you're at a period reenactment. I enjoy smelling like the past, which is a subjective statement in and of itself, but even I wouldn't take this to work or to the mall with friends. This one's evocation of frocks and waxed mustaches are better left to lazy Sundays where only my roommates have to tolerate my fragrance of choice. I recommend you make the purchase of this similarly personal, or for the sake of history, because you're going to get stares if you take it around outside.
08th January, 2018 (last edited: 11th November, 2019)
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
This is another barbershop classic in the Canoe and Clubman mold, closer to the former in its talcum meets vanilla aura.
13th June, 2017
Although every scent company from the 1820s on had its own "Jockey Club," the only one that, to my knowledge, survived into post WWII society was CM's. I used to have a list of all the florals that were in it, over two dozen as I recall.

It is both floral and wistful, the herbal bouquet giving the flowers an autumnal shade of "almost gone by," similar to smelling a dry floral potpourri. At the same time its citrus ingredients (lime, bergamot, verbena) gave it a crispness.

One of the most sophisticated men's scents ever created. I haven't smelled it in over a decade so don't know if current bottles have been reformulated, but in its time it was one of the best and has always been one of CM's very best sellers.

Very worth trying.
25th February, 2017
I tried all the CW colognes, but this was the only one that worked well on me.

It seems I am enamored of old-fashioned barber-shop scents. In that line, this is one of the most venerable, and, unlike my dear Pinaud scents, still made by the same company with the same formula. At about $35 for 3oz, it's perceptibly well-made.

Because of the high quality, the rather floral smell suggests 19th century dandyism with (for modern noses) perhaps a touch of gender dysphoria. The ideal accompaniment to a ramble in St. James' Park with the Earl of Rochester.

Personally, this is the price range I am at ease with, and the quality I require for formal occasions. Long-lasting, well-perceptible without imposing itself, this after-shave is, though not astonishing, truly flawless.
15th August, 2015
Another interesting old-fashioned scent from Caswell-Massey. Jockey Club goes on with a floral smell, a mix of rose and jasmine made a bit fusty by a shot of talcum powder. It ends up settling fairly quickly into a lilac smell. But it's not that modern lilac that shows up in aquatic florals - instead it's quite dirty, smelling of wood and, well, dirt. It's not unpleasant, and the dirty aspects, along with the barbershoppy powder, actually make it more masculine than you'd expect from an upfront floral. It eventually dries down to gold musk, that smell of old French soap that's simultaneously clean and animalic.

I think Jockey Club deserves a thumbs up, but if you're willing to try women's scents, there are much better powdery musky florals out there (Joy and No. 5 spring to mind as obvious benchmarks, distant relatives that don't smell much like Jockey Club but that fit the same basic bill).
03rd April, 2013

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Fragrances launched in the same year as Jockey Club (1840)