Crown Perfumery was founded in 1872. Their story is not so unusual: after a long period of success, they fell on hard times. Eventually the company was rescued by Clive Christian, but shortly after launching his first perfumes under his own name, he discontinued the Crown line altogether. Some of us are still holding a grudge.
Eau de Russe was first launched in 1911 and includes notes of heliotrope, amber and musk. It starts with a burst of citrusy bergamot; the citrus lingers but is quickly clouded over by a heavy dusting of vanilla-tinged powder. The powder grows in intensity as the fragrance dries down, and the amber in the base provides a nice underlying warmth, but other than that, the development is minimal. It smells like a lightly spiced vanilla pudding dotted here and there with curls of citrus peel.
On paper (on screen?) it sounds like something I would hate, but in fact it is easily my favorite perfume from Crown. A trail of bergamot lasts well into the dry down, and tempers the sweeter vanillic notes perfectly: it is vaguely foody but not overly rich, and could be the sober, more old-fashioned ancestor of La Perla Eclix. Eau de Russe was marketed as a men's fragrance, and it certainly starts out rather masculine, but the dry down, to my nose, is somewhere between feminine and unisex.
If I remember correctly, Eau de Russe was one of the earliest of the Crown fragrances to hit the chopping block under Clive Christian. I am fairly sure that it has not been in production since 1999, but I wouldn't swear to it, and it seems to me that I read at some point that someone or another was bringing back the entire range? Please comment if you know. As of this writing, bottles are available at parfumsraffy in the US and at englishscent in Germany, where you can also read a more detailed history of Crown Perfumery.
Note: the image shows a vintage Crown Perfumery fragrance bottle unearthed at a Boer War campsite near Pretoria, and is via the very interesting site Antique Bottles.