Perfumery Osswald was founded by Boris Dreiding in Zurich in 1921. Osswald sold products from major brands such as Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein and was the first perfumery in the city to carry Guerlain fragrances.

After World War II, his son Jago Dreiding took over the business and moved the location to Bahnhofstrasse 17. In 1980, he founded the "Salon de Beauté" in the basement and successfully managed the Osswald perfumery until 1992.

Thereafter, his widow Tamara Dreiding faithfully continued the traditions of her husband and father-in-law. In 1994, she commissioned a well-known architect to renovate the interior. The then glittering glass case with over 250 perfume bottles was the main attraction of the store.

Tanja Dreiding Wallace, Tamara and Jago's daughter, joined the Osswald team in 2005. Since the beginning of 2014, she has continued to run the business according to the values and standards of her ancestors and has enlarged and renovated the premises. In 2012, she opened the first international branch in New York's Soho neighborhood, bringing her Swiss commitment and experience to the table

The beginning

The founder of Parfumerie Osswald, Boris Dreiding, grew up in the then Russian "Kishinev" in very modest circumstances. From an early age, he was fascinated by the diverse fragrances of his hometown. These were influenced by the turbulent history of Moldova, once occupied by the Romans, then by the Ottomans, and later by the Russians. He decided to turn his passion into a profession and trained as a druggist as a young man. In his free time, he passionately tinkered with his own cream and fragrance formulas and wrote them down in his notebook, which he always carried with him. Soon it became too cramped for him in the provincial town of "Kischinjow" and so he completed part of his training in the then cosmopolitan city of Odessa.

Boris at a young age

After his education as a druggist and the longer stay in the then cosmopolitan city "Odessa", our founder quickly realized that he would not find his happiness in the provincial "Kishinev". In order to realize his dream of creating cosmetics himself, he sewed all the formulas he had been tinkering with all those years into his jacket pocket, packed the essentials and set off on the long journey to Paris - where, unfortunately, he never arrived. At the Katowice border crossing, he was taken prisoner of war and interned at Kufstein Fortress, where he was held for over a year. He was finally released for health reasons and deported to Switzerland.

Original document from captivity

Boris Dreiding was accepted as a refugee in Switzerland and was granted a residence permit. With his vision of his own cosmetics company in mind, he set out full of motivation to find work to keep his head above water here in Switzerland. By chance he got a job as a bottle cleaner in the former grocery store of Mr. Ernst Osswald. Boris impressed with his diligence and entrepreneurial spirit, so that Mr. Osswald soon promoted him and entrusted him with the responsibility for the entire drugstore area in his store. In 1921, Mr. Osswald then supported Boris to open his own perfumery and in honor of his name, Boris christened it Osswald. Over the years, a friendly business relationship developed between them, and Mr. Osswald also assisted Boris in finally fulfilling his dream of owning his own cosmetics business. In 1930, Boris founded Parfa, implementing the recipes he had sewn into his jacket pocket for his escape from his homeland. He named his first product line Arrow. Unfortunately, it remains a mystery to this day how he came up with that name.

E. Osswald and Boris in front of the former grocery store in Zurich.

Advertising catalog of Parfa AG 1945

Boris did everything in his power to attract the latest trends in perfumery and skincare for cooperation, in addition to his own products. After the war period, it was difficult to get hold of such luxury products. Finally, he succeeded in putting together an exclusive assortment. Even today we carry the name Osswald with great pride and respect for our history and in the meantime we also associate it with all people, brands and customers who were part of our history, are today or will be in the future.

Discover our Boutique Perfumery and Facial Spa

Located directly on Paradeplatz, in the heart of Zurich's luxurious shopping mile, Parfümerie Osswald invites you to explore the finest perfumes and high-quality skin care products. The range is complemented by make-up, room fragrances and high-quality accessories. For relaxation and as a skin-pampering oasis of well-being, the Osswald Facial Spa with its 7 luxury brand cabins offers the ultimate in skin care.