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.