The Tilley Story

Tilley Soap Wagon


In 1865, a young, clever and determined Arthur Tilley conspired a plan to use his creative talent to create a soap and perfumery works - Tilley Soaps. A brand unique to Australia, Tilley is now proudly the oldest 100% Australian owned soap manufacturer, celebrating 155 years in the industry.

Founded by Arthur, who migrated from England with his family at the age of eight, the Tilley brand has overseen two world wars, a great depression, a GFC and many more challenges, yet still managed to make beautifully scented products that continue to surprise and entice their loyal fan base.

Following success in its home-town, Tilley ventured further afield, exhibiting successfully at the World Trade Fairs in London, Paris, New York and Philadelphia in the 1890s and around the turn of the century winning numerous awards and even Royal Treaties by appointment to the Queen.

Soap making is an art, not a science, and Arthur was often quoted as saying, “A soap maker is never done learning the art of making soap” - a saying that still plays a big part of the brand’s success and one of the reasons why Tilley continues to deliver premium products for the home and body.

Tilley Soap and Perfumery Works remained in the family until ownership changed hands in 1962 to the Furneaux family, and then to Tilley’s current owners in 1997, who named it Tilley Soaps Australia. The successful duo slowly proceeded to expand the business in many ways with a wider product range, new customers, updated equipment and additional employees, building the Tilley brand into the homewares manufacturer we have come to know and love today.

In 2016 the Tilley business relocated to new state-of-the-art premises in Bayswater, Melbourne where we continue to invest in new machinery and our staff.

Our manufacturing facilities are GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certified for Cosmetic Products under ISO 22716, and are also ACO Certified for the production of Organic products.


It’s safe to say that 155 years later, the creative and innovative skills Arthur embedded into Tilley Soaps are still strong. Soap making is still an art, a soap maker’s work is never done and the brand is busy preparing for another 155 years (and more!) of triumphs in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

Contract Manufacturing has also contributed to the Tilley story and remains an important part of the business today. For any enquiries, please contact