Founded as far back as 1790 and still serving customers today, DR Harris & Co Ltd is London’s oldest pharmacy.
The company, which specialises in “traditional gentleman’s grooming products” and these days also sells unisex haircare products, skincare products and soaps, first opened its doors when Henry Harris, a surgeon, set up shop at number 11 St James’s Street under the name of Harris’s Apothecary.
The DR became part of the name when Harris’s cousin, Daniel Rotely, an early pharmaceutical chemist, joined the company and together they developed a range of luxury perfumes and remedies, becoming particularly known for their lavender water, colognes and English flower perfumes.
Located at the heart of what was known as “Clubland” thanks to the many gentlemen’s clubs once found in the surrounding streets, its clients quickly grew to include the gentry and the court of St James’s.
In 1938, the company was awarded the warrant as chemists to Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, an honour which it held until her death in 2002. In 2002, it was awarded the warrant as chemist for the Prince of Wales, and in 2012 was awarded the warrant as pharmacist and pharmacy suppliers to Queen Elizabeth II.
The company’s premises at what is now 29 St James’s Street was refurbished several years ago. For more, see www.drharris.co.uk.