The Evangeline story

The Evangeline fragrance was brought to New York from France by James Miller in 1873. “Evangeline Toilet Preparations” as they were known as, began in downtown New York City. Soon after, Leon Hirsh bought James Millerʼs company to sell New Yorkers, lotions, creams, astringents and other popular skin remedies. All of Hirshʼs products became available at most pharmacies and hotels though out the city. While the name Evangeline is sometimes associated to the Evangelical faith, Evangeline is named for the gentle Acadian beauty of Henry Wadsworth Longfellowʼs 1847 poem, “Evangeline”.

When the war began in 1942, the Leon Hirsh and Son Company became geared to the war effort and diverted from Evangeline skin care products to manufacturing vital chemicals. In 1947, a young chemist and war veteran, Sidney Klein was hired to help in production. As rumored, Mr. Klein was hired to help procure a very difficult Alcohol permit. 6 months after being hired, Leon Hirsh passed away and Sidney became the new owner of Leon Hirsh and Son.

After the war, many of the original products became obsolete, Evangeline Eau de Cologne , a best seller, was the last remaining product. Working from a run down, three story walk-up, Sidney and wife Caroline, worked 7-days each week to help grow the small business. Each bottle was hand filled, labeled and packed. Shipping boxes where wood crates built from scrap wood and trimmed by circular saw, and nailed together by hand.

Relentless “knocking on doors” brought in Bloomingdales, Bergdorf-Goodman, RH Macyʼs and other exclusive New York City stores. In1959, business changed for the better! Sidney Klein and Jose L. Castillo became business friends. Mr Castillo became the Caribbeanʼs largest distributor of pharmaceutical and general merchandise. Located in San Juan, Jose L. Castillo, Inc., offered Evangeline cologne to the people of Puerto Rico! Very well received! Puerto Rico and the new Cesar Castillo, Inc has been a most vital part of the Evangeline story.

As the years passed, sons Mark and Doug became full time employees. The entire Klein family centered their lives around the the family business. Sidney passed away in 1994 and to satisfy New York State DBA regulations. the Leon Hirsh and Son Company fittingly became the Evangeline Company.

Currently, the Evangeline company is expanding with new more natural formulas to meet the growing market trends.

All Evangeline products are quality formulated and manufactured at AFFA Corp located in Miami, Florida.

The Evangeline Company is looking forward to working with AFFA to promote the many traditional Latin products and a new line up of Organic skin care products.

We have broadened our companyʼs sales reach and scope but still remain a small independently owned/operated business. Both AFFA and Evangeline Company follow the same business model, quality products at affordable prices!


Douglas Klein