Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mini Perfume Haul

C and I had yesterday off together so we decided to head to the coast.  We love going antiquing together and there's a huuuuge mall in the beach town closest to us that always has some fun stuff to look at.
One of the things I've been perpetually in search of is vintage perfume.  If you're wondering why...  Perfumes of yesteryear were made with different, more natural, ingredients as a rule, including real musk and authentic plant extracts.  Over the years, though, such items became depleted, more expensive, proven to exacerbate allergies, or banned in the name of ethics, and so the art of perfumery has evolved.  The perfumes have, too, along with their purpose, to an extent.  A perfume first conceived in the 1920s will have gone through many reformulations and iterations.  Some vintages are better than others.  I'm not in any way up on which are the "best," but I've learned over the years what is sought after and, of course, what I will actually wear.  Most the time, it's just fun to see an older fragrance with its heart still intact.

  So this antique mall ended up being a treasure trove of perfume yesterday.  One of the vendors had a bunch of little sandwich bags with five minis each selling for $5 a bag.  Sometimes the vendors know the worth of their items, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they just want to move their product.  These all probably came from an estate sale and I was lucky to find one bag with a couple beauties I've been curious about, even if only one qualifies as an honest to goodness vintage.

coty l'aimant cologne vintage

First up is Coty L'Aimant cologne, Coty's first fragrance, launched in 1927, and the best find of the bunch.  I'm going to guess this bottle is 1970s or '80s (25 years old makes a fume "officially" vintage).  It's a soft, aldehydic floral with the same creamy quality present in Chanel No.5, but with a sweetness to it.  You know how some lipsticks have a soft, sweet scent to them?  That same intriguing, just starting to decay rose note is in L'Aimant.  It's a cologne, so the highest concentration of alcohol to essential oil, and it doesn't last terribly long on me.  Even so, the scent is soft and lovely, and reminds me very much of a woman's dressing table.

van cleef & arpels first perfume

Second is Van Cleef & Arpels First, the first fragrance to come out of the jeweler's house, launched in 1979.  My little bottle does not look old at all, and the painted plastic cap is a good indicator that this one isn't actually a vintage.  It's more than likely from this decade.  It was intriguing to me because I received a veeeeery tiny amount of an actual vintage as a gift and smelling the vapors from the bottle was just a beautiful experience.  I got excited at the prospect of being able to actually wear some.  Because mine is fairly new, though, it doesn't smell like the original-- there's a richness that just isn't there-- but it is still beautiful white floral with a girlish lily of the valley/muguet and a slightly dirty jasmine heart.  This one is a parfum, the formulation with the highest concentration of essential oils, so it tends to hug the skin better and last a little longer.

The beach itself was gorgeous, warm, and sunny, which is always a pleasant surprise on the Oregon coast.  C took a shot of the two of us standing on the beach where he proposed to me ten years ago.  We revisit the spot a lot. ♥


Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend :)
 

12 comments:

  1. Aww you and your hubby are so cute! It's great that you enjoy antiquing together. I love shopping (mostly the window variety haha) and I'm lucky my hubby likes that too. Those are great finds. I know what you mean about the smell of vintage perfumes being different. I have a bottle of the original Dior Tendre Poison, and it just has so much soul and heart in the scent. :-)

    ~ Yun

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    1. Lovely :) Isn't it amazing how things can change? Modern perfumery tries to replicate natural with synthetics and it just doesn't work that way. I bet you treasure your Tendre Poison. I hope I have a chance to sniff the original myself, sometime :)

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    2. I totally hoard it haha. I usually only break it out for special occasions or if I need a pick-me-up or to feel sassy lol. :) I'll be pretty sad when the bottle is gone.

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  2. This is so cool! I love the idea and look of vintage perfume and you guys make a great couple :)

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    1. Thanks, Margo :) It's a fun realm to explore! SO much to learn.

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  3. Hi Liesl, oh I love that photo of C and you!!! Sooo cute <3!!!! This is a great post and I enjoyed each and every sentence - you are such a gifted writer!!! I certainly would have enjoyed hunting those stalls with you ;-)!! And while I don't know the first scent I am most certainly familiar with first. I remember when it was released and I found it to be the epitome of elegance and splendour!! Mind you, I was only 14 and yet miles away from really understanding anything about perfume - LOL!!! Years after I tried it and admittedly - it does not suit me. For years I used Queleques Fleurs from Houbigant, released 1908 and it was still produced with its original formula. Unfortunately the new owner of the company felt like "re-vamping" things and the scent went down the drain!!! I loved some other Oldies too: Bal de Versaille, Shalimar (old formula) and Joy - xxx

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    1. Going vintage fume shopping with you would be a blast ♥ That's the nice thing about finding a steal on minis, I get to smell these beauties with minimal financial commitment... Do you ever look at perfume on ebay? Some vintages are priced out of this world. L'Aimant isn't one that I'll be wearing around town any time soon, mostly because it is so fleeting on me, but I adore those old-school aldehydic florals so much. Quelques Fleurs... now that's one I need to sniff. I'd be giddy to come across anything vintage Houbigant. So sad when a reissue loses all the spirit of the original. Caron Bellodgia is like that-- most definitely not bad, but not the same. I adore Bal a Versailles in its current edt form. My sis in law found a vintage parfum and gifted me with it and it is just beautiful, and interestingly, not so far off from my current edt. Now the vintage cologne is another story. I hear it's loaded with all sorts of baaaaaad stuff and if I could sniff it just once my life would nearly be complete (vintage Tabac Blond is also on my List of Fumes I Must Smell but that one's such a long shot).

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  4. Sounds like a beautiful and successful day of antiquing :) That's so cool that you know so much about perfume. I just wear Katy Perry Purr and call it a day! LOL.

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    1. I used to read perfume blogs and post on this one huge fume forum frequently. There's a lot to learn and I learned a little. There are lots of folks waaaaay more knowledgeable that I'll ever be and the gals involved in that hobby more often than not had a lot more money to burn (weekly polish hauls aren't as hard on the wallet as weekly fume hauls and believe me when I say it's astounding what some of these gals can drop on fume) so it was hard for me to hang. Blahblahblah, lol ;) I'm just stoked you guys take the time to read andd comment when I try to be a perfume blogger :)

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