Being on the hunt for vintage perfume means different things to different people. Some are looking for their discontinued or badly reformulated holy grail in its original formula, while others collect perfumes from certain houses. There are people who are all about the bottles, chasing exquisite Lalique or Baccart creations, sometimes focusing on a specific time period. Some collectors go for the big names: Chanel, Coty, Guerlain, Dior, but as prices have risen over the last five years it's easier to find and afford treasures from second and third-tier names, and even past cheap thrills. I've been through just about any of these stages at some point, but more than anything, I'm led by my curiosity. I want to find and smell everything.
But even as I scour the flea market for vintage perfume bottles I always have a dream of finding something so wonderful, rare, and precious. Preferably still sealed in its original box. If I could only have that one...
The thing is that I'm not entirely sure what that one may be. Of course, I do want a full size bottle of Iris Gris, but how dare I even dream about it when I still have a few drops of it in a mini bottle. That's more than enough in perfume karma terms. And I've smelled vintage Djedi, which is in itself a dream come true, so how greedy can I be? (Very, actually). One can never have too much vintage Mitsouko, Shalimar or Parure, and the same goes for Chanel Cuir de Russie (but how about other Cuir de Russie perfumes? Guerlain and other houses also had their own) and Chypre de Coty (or La Rose Jacqueminot). But there are also so many perfumes I've never even smelled... Would any of them become the Blue Bird Of Happiness?
Right now I'm pretty certain that the 1946 Dingo by Piguet could be the jewel in my crown. The crazy name alone is worth it, not to mention the possibility that it's a Germaine Cellier creation.Robert Piguet in general is always on my Most Coveted list (add vintage Bandit to the "can never have enough" column). Révolte by Lancome, the grandfather of my beloved Cuir, is another one, and don't even get me started on original formulas of every Jean Patou perfume. I could go on and on.
How about you? Are you chasing The One? The One that got away? What vintage find would bring you untold happiness?
Image: The Blue Bird Of Happiness, designed by Elsa Williams, 2013, via http://www.art-thunk.co.nz/