Listerine Royalties: The Origin Story and Valuation of a Uniquely Enduring Asset
“If a man can make me laugh and stimulate me intellectually, then I wouldn't mind if he was 4 ft. 8 in. with a huge belly. The only thing that would put me off is bad breath - but even that can be fixed. A bad personality isn't so easy to fix.” - Olga Kurylenko

What if there was a tariff on bad breath—a surcharge on oral health only escapable by those unconcerned with pesky things like personal hygiene?

Well, there’s already a tax. And you can own the rights to a piece of the proceeds.

Listerine Lore

In the nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur’s groundbreaking research formed our foundational understanding of the causation and prevention of disease. This subsequently influenced British surgeon Joseph Lister’s experimentations concerning wound infection, leading him to become known as the “father of modern surgery.” Several years later, understanding the critical importance of sterilization, the American Dr. Joseph Lawrence developed an alcohol-based concoction to be used as a germicide and surgical antiseptic. Honoring Dr. Lister, he dubbed it “Listerine.

In 1881, aiming to boost the adoption of Listerine, Dr. Lawrence licensed his secret formula to a pharmacist by the name of Jordan Lambert. Then, in 1895, after varying degrees of advertising success, Listerine’s marketing focus pivoted toward dentists for oral care. By 1915, you could find Listerine in households all around the United States.

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Young Money Capital's avatar
Really glad you started writing a substack. Never knew about the Listerine royalty market
Conor Mac's avatar
@youngmoneycapital Equally glad, only recently found it, but super happy I did.
Devin LaSarre's avatar
@youngmoneycapital Thanks man. Just trying to provide interesting ideas and perspectives.