The quest for vintage perfume leads me to some dark and dusty corners of antique stores where I sometimes find nameless bottles with no labels. Of course, it helps to know your Guerlains and be able to recognize certain treasures, like the amazing Jicky in a quadrilobe Baccart bottle I got over the weekend. A smartphone also helps quite a bit in some cases, but every once in a while I find something interesting that smells nice but I have absolutely no idea what it is.
Sometimes taking them home and doing research online and in books can help. Case in point: this bottle that I got as part of a lot the dealer really didn't want to keep. It smelled "pretty" and the bottle was obviously old and of good quality. I found it in one of my books as well as online. This is Secret de Suzanne by Suzanne Perichon of Suzanne Perfumes Paris. The perfume was created in 1924 and if I have to guess I'd say it was discontinued right after WWII. There are ads from the 1940s (below), but none later than 1946. You can see an example of an empty bottle from an eBay auction. Secret de Suzanne smells floral, as far as I can tell, and it's quite easy to wear.
A bigger mystery is the bottle on the left in the picture below, next to Caractere by Bruyere:
The big bottle is numbered 68 and may or may not be Baccarat. There's a stamp on the bottom but it's far to worn to read and identify. According to some online sources, Baccarat used 68 for Bruyere around 1909 or 1910. However, as far as I can tell Bruyere bottles had a slightly different shape , as you can see in Caractere, which is indeed a signed and stamped Baccarat. Unlike my Caractere, the mystery bottle wasn't sealed, and in fact, at first I suspected it was a decanter and not a commercial perfume. Things get even more mysterious, as the juice inside smells like a very beautiful and rich vintage Mitsouko (Caractere, if you're curious, is a soapy mossy powerhouse). The stoppers, though, are practically identical:
Next we have a bottle that I nearly didn't get. The juice looked too dark to be still alive, but when I opened it in the store the entire area was filled with the unmistakable smell of civet:
The last mystery bottle is only semi-untitled. It was part of the vintage lot I mentioned above and while obviously not too prestigious, it's one of my favorites. The label "NM" made me think at first that it was a perfume made for Neiman Marcus, but obviously the logo and font are wrong and the cap looks a bit too cheap to be a Neiman Marcus item. The bottle is small, about 10 or 12ml. The perfume itself, though, smells like a lighter and more floral version of Bandit, but still leathery and mossy. I love wearing the mystery NM, even though I have absolutely no idea what this is.
Do you recognize any of these bottles? Do you have any untitled perfumes you hope to identify some day? I was thinking that if enough readers send me photos of their mystery bottles I will publish another post where we can try and help each other.