OUR STORY

It all began over 70 years ago with U.S. Naval Officer, John Webb, stationed in the Virgin Islands during World War II and a single ingredient - bay leaf oil - long regarded as a health and beauty aid by island natives. Intrigued by the rich history of the bay rum industry and other experimenters before him, Webb mixed this versatile essential oil with exotic Caribbean spices to create a distinctly masculine scent. He went on to package these bottles by hand using local palm fronds, and from there, St Johns Bay Rum™ was created, bringing the allure of the islands to the U.S. Recognized worldwide, these “Fishnet Weave®” bottles have since become iconic, embodying the essence and guiding principles of the St Johns Bay Rum™ brand:

  • Authentic
  • Distinctive
  • Timeless
  • Traditional

Today, the St Johns Fragrance Company™ continues to handcraft the finest fragrances, staying true to original formulations, all while evolving to fit today’s modern man. St Johns Bay Rum™ is proud to be a classic, committed to being an essential part of every man’s grooming routine.

OUR TIMELINE: OVER 175 YEARS OF FASCINATING HISTORY

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    The Invention of Bay Rum

    1838
  2. Virgin Island Bay Rum

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    1903
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    Prohibition and Bay Rum

    1921
  4. World War II

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    1939
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    Bay Rum is Back

    1947
  6. The Mad Men Years

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    1957
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    BECOMING AN AMERICAN ICON

    In this post-war, “Mad Men” era, looking like a “gentleman” becomes a priority and men start paying more attention to grooming and their overall appearances. With this in mind, John Webb enlisted a Madison Avenue advertising agency in New York City to represent St Johns Bay Rum® in the United States. Men’s focus on grooming, coupled with the "Fishnet Weave®" signature bottle design and ingenious ad campaigns in The New Yorker magazine, contribute to tremendous growth and national distribution of St Johns Bay Rum® in the 1960s. St Johns Bay Rum® soon became a household name, with presence in leading retailers such as Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. With the worldwide market in mind, consumer products giant, Warner- Lambert, acquired St Johns Bay Rum® in 1963.

    Become an American Icon

    1963
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    Virgin Island Ownership

    1978
  9. A New Beginning

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    1995
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    E-Commerce store stre_img St Johns created its first E-Commerce store: stjohnsbayrum.com, extending its loyal fan base to Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and beyond. To celebrate St Johns’ 60th Anniversary, a unique limited edition Fishnet Weave® bottle was produced.

    E-Commerce store

    2007
  11. St Johns Today

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    2015
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    70 Years and Counting

    The Welles Family, consisting of four American brothers, become owners of St Johns Bay Rum®, and look to revitalize the classic and timeless brand, reminiscent of their grandfather’s era. In late summer/early fall, Hurricanes Irma and Maria strike the islands five days apart. The hurricanes leave the islands and the St Johns Fragrance factory devastated, ripping off its roof, wreaking havoc on the building and destroying most of the product and woven bottles. Even the palm trees used to make the famous basketweave bottles are demolished. Despite the damage, all was not lost for the St Johns Fragrance Company. Under the leadership of the Welles Brothers and CEO, Rhys Moore, they trekked forward, taking empty glass bottles and untouched fragrance and created a special “Hurricane Series.” The team commissioned an artist to design and digitally print the Fishnet Weave® bottles, and donated a portion of the proceeds to Americares and island relief efforts. Additionally, the St Johns brand celebrated its 70th anniversary, producing a limited edition bottle to commemorate the milestone. The iconic Fishnet Weave® bottle and bay rum brand continue its pop culture presence through the television show, Archer and television series, Feud: Betty and Joan.

    70 Years and Counting

    2017
  13. Present Day

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    Present Day Following the devastating hurricanes and with a new supply chain back in place, The St Johns Fragrance Company™ is stronger than ever and focused on creating its iconic, award-winning St Johns scents. With an extensive network of basketweavers in place and the palm frond supply flourishing, the famous Fishnet Weave® bottle is still crafted by hand, making each completely unique and one-of-a-kind. To meet the needs of new customers and a loyal fanbase rapidly expanding internationally, the St Johns Fragrance Company continues to build on its full line of men’s grooming products. The company continues to maintain an important presence in the islands and has established a sales and marketing office on the mainland in Ridgefield, CT. Stay tuned for more to come in the rich history of St Johns Bay Rum®!
    2019

ALL ABOUT ST JOHNS BAY RUM

No, you can’t mix it in a cocktail, but it is quite versatile.

St Johns bay leaf oil is derived from the bay rum tree and has been an integral health and beauty remedy of the Virgin Islands and its people for centuries. With its unique climate and exceptionally rich soil, the island of St John provided an ideal place for bay trees to thrive, and St John bay leaf oils quickly acquired a worldwide reputation of being distinctive and superior. For over 70 years, St Johns Bay Rum® has blended the richest bay leaf oils and premium Caribbean spices to create its classic, distinctive and authentic scents.

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