Thursday, September 3, 2015

Oh, yes, I am addicted.  But, not just any perfume.  Noooo.  I am addicted to Vintage perfumes.  Those hard to find, bygone scents that no longer exist as they once were.  Some have been discontinued, some have been reformulated and thereafter morphed into something that is unrecognizable to the original fragrance.  And, to add insult to injury, these fragrances are hard to find!  Collecting vintage perfume has all of the intrigue of a luscious spy novel.  That's the hook.

I stumbled onto this strange phenomena while trekking through the muddy fields of the Madison-Bouckville Summer show in New York State in 2011.  I am an antique dealer and it is the perfect place to hunt up great deals on items to sell and collect.  Last year, I came across a little tent in one of the back fields and found 84 bottles of mini perfumes, mostly full, and dated from the 30's to the 80's.  They looked like little jewels!  At this point in my life, I made my own fragrances using essential oils.  I hadn't purchased commercial perfume since I grew tired of my "signature scent", Halston.  After wearing it for years, I never really found a scent that I liked as much, even though I never passed a perfume counter without sampling.

So, I pondered those little bottles and went back to that small tent 3 days in a row before I finally purchased the lot for $90.00.  I had no idea what I would do with them, as my usual sales were vintage porcelain, antique toys and advertising, not to mention I didn't know a thing about perfumes.  Upon arriving home, I began to unpack the bottles.  And, this is where it all began.

Each sniff had it's own mystique and each bottle was a little piece of art.  I became transfixed and started to inventory the whole lot, which was not easy.  So, I bought a book on Amazon called A Collector's Handbook of Miniature Perfume Bottles and the rest is history.  I was in heaven.

I quickly learned that finding vintage perfume is much harder than one can imagine.  Many people throw out "old" perfume.  My find in that little tent in Bouckville was not the norm.  Once addicted, I found it harder to add to my collection.  Not many antique dealers sell it, so it is on to thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales and the internet to find a bottled filled with that magic scent from long ago that speaks to my soul.  However, I have gone on to find some gems in the past year and will be sharing some of what I have found along the way.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lest my first post left you believing that my addiction was to miniature bottles, let's set the record straight.  I am totally enamoured with small bottles, large bottles and the fragrances they (sometimes) hold.  I am in love with all things perfume related, from old advertisements to funny little solid perfumes.  

Not long after returning from Bouckville, I visited a shop which had a basket full of 80's perfumes - Forever Krystle, Giorgio, Vanderbilt, Opium - you get the picture.  Those big hair perfumes that reach out and grab you and you never quite smell the same way again.  

Thereafter, I started searching for perfume everywhere I went and I bought everything I could afford.  Vintage Moon Drops, Crepe de Chine, Mimzy, Replique, Coty L' Origin, Miss Dior, Jovan Musk for Women - my search knew no bounds (which may be why I ended up with 2 full  bottles of Shania which I would gladly send you if you are a fan).  I could not contain my excitement when face to face with a bottle of perfume.  I had my sister searching garage sales and let all my friends know that I meant business and if they had something lingering in the back  of the closet, I wanted it.

One would think that after purchasing everything but the kitchen sink, I would become more discerning.  Nope, didn't happen.  I still buy everything I see that I don't already have.  And, I have been so pleasantly surprised! That little dime store bottle of Magnolia by Rene of New Orleans with original box and full contents is heavenly!   

That's the thing.  It's the thrill of finding something you never knew existed.  It's a little like a birthday in a bottle!