Friday, October 29, 2010

L.T. Piver- Azurea (Vintage Perfume)

found the bottle of Azurea by L.T. Piver in a small store at a local antique mall. I first noticed the tall glass stopper, then the beautiful Art Nouveau label. The bottle was more than half full and a quick online search (how in the world did we survive before smartphones?) revealed Azurea was released in 1897.

Azuréa was created for L.T. Piver by chemist/perfumer Pierre Armigeant (1874-1955) in collaboration with chemist George Darzens. It was launched in 1897 and, by 1901, was firmly entrenched in "better" stores throughout France and the United States — and other countries where Piver products were marketed.

A February, 7, 1907 copy of the Atlanta Constitution indicates that Azuréa was currently being sold at Keely's department store in that great American city.

There was also a box of Azurea powder next to it with the same label, and sniffing it helped me determine the juice in the bottle was, indeed, original. I didn't buy the powder because I don't collect vintage body products or their packaging, but the delicate aroma of Azurea won me over. I'm pretty sure my bottle is from a much later date than the turn of the previous century, though it's obviously old (it's identical to the one at the top left in the above 1927 ad); the fact the perfume is alive and wearable was thrilling.

The flower on the label is a blue iris, so it's interesting to note that the very same year Piver also launched Iris Blanc (via I wish I could smell that one and compare, because Azurea smells like iris, though more like the smaller wild flower than the rooty and earthy iris butter. It's very powdery and has a hefty dose of heliotrope. It dries down to a sweet baby powder and lasts for about 2 hours on my skin.

There's something fascinating in owning and wearing something so long ago. It's pretty and it's different. I can see the clothes, hats and antique cars, Art Nouveau decorations in the boudoir, breakfast served on a silver tray and managing a huge household and its staff. Basically, I wear Azurea and become Lady Marjorie Bellamie from Upstairs, Downstairs for a couple of hours.

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