Thursday, April 23, 2015

Vintage Perfume: The Most Frequently Worn In Our Current Rotation (By the Husband and me)

At this point in the game both the Husband and I are deeply invested in the vintage perfume hobby. The difference between chasing vintage and collecting modern treasures is that the former is a rabbit hole with a definite bottom, darker than you've ever imagined, and causes normal mild-mannered individuals like us to commit minor acts of violence against people who stand in our way to the coveted bottles. As our collection grows we also develop certain moods. "I'm in the mood for a vintage chypre" is a common thought for me. The husband doesn't care. He simply reaches for the first thing that comes to his mind as he stand befuddled in front of his cabinet, questioning the sanity of it all.

I've looked through my files and also asked the Blond what he's been wearing most often lately. Here's the list of the bottles we've been spraying most often in the last few weeks.


On any given week I wear some form of Shalimar for at least half a day. It's just one of those facts of life.

I've been collecting various concentration of this wild beast. Lately it's been my go to bedtime scent (six times in two and a half weeks). Which explains some of the more bizarre dreams I've been having.

I've been chasing this one for years, trying to find a bottle that's both high concentration and hasn't turned. I've finally managed. A seventies chypre if there ever was one.

All of a sudden I cannot get enough. /and I'm worried about the older bottles turning bad, so I'm often steeped in this elegant dream. My maternal grandmother used to wear it, which doesn't hurt the appeal, either.

The husband was on his way back from a business meeting up north when he stopped at an antique mall. He found a bottle of the original very first Emanuel Ungaro perfume. I haven't smelled it in decades, but ever since he got me the bottle I can't get enough. The couple that hunts for vintage perfume together stays together.


The first fragrance I ever bought for him, soon after we started dating. I think my sweet farm boy was a bit confused at first. He got over it.

Neither one of us has tried the reissue. Why bother when the real thing lives in our cabinet? (I'm so stealing it tonight).

Right now it seems to be his favorite Guerlain. I got him a lifetime supply of the 1992 eau de toilette version. He still wondered if he needs a backup. I wear the eau de perfume more often.

I think it was one of his first vintage bottles and it took him a while to fall in love. Between Equipage and vintage Bel Ami, I think he's ready to upholster our home in Hermes orange leather.

There couldn't be a bigger discrepancy between the perfume's name and the man who wears it in our home, but who cares?  And it's a good compromise that mostly keeps him out of my Bois des Iles parfum, so everyone's happy.


  1. I love the Guerlain Heritage decant a kind friend sent........

    Lawrence in Ohio

  2. I had to LOL when I read "causes normal mild-mannered individuals like us to commit minor acts of violence against people who stand in our way to the coveted bottles." My late husband and I used to be in the antique business and underwent the same transformation at yard sales and tag sales whenever we saw something that tickled our fancy!

  3. I love your trip back in time re: vintage favorites. I think your 'Wild Beast' description of BaV is spot-on. I remember first trying this beauty as a teen and thinking 'oh how sweet and comforting', especially as compared to other popular scents of the day such as Exclamation!. I had no idea of the coming skank-y dry down that was headed my way. What an absolute beauty though, I have several different formulations of this and Jicky (another vintage favorite) and it's such a pleasure as it morphs.

    Another I love is Coriandre, I snap up a backup bottle when I see it - this beauty is an absolute gem! I'm currently on the hunt for perfume if I can find it without losing a limb.

  4. I bought a vintage bottle of Diorissimo because every blogger said that it was so much better then the new reformulated one. Also reading that Grace Kelly wore it added to the romance. Unfortunately, I sprayed it on without sniffing at first it was one of the worst things I've ever smelled in my life. It must've turned bad. It was so bad I never bought another bottle of vintage bottle again. I know logically of the not all vintage perfumes are bad, but I never want to risk that again.

  5. I hope all your readers have sought the vintage BaV! I have a big bottle of eau de cologne, and I really don,t get such a skanky vibe although I understand the idea. It is so complex and very feminine to me, although It wouldn,t be odd on a man. Has anyone tried Lentheric 12, a late 60's release? I stumbled on it in an ebay lot, and find it similar.

    Re couple that stays together, my DH found two half full lay-down bottlesof Safari at an antique shop, and he has no interst in my mad perfume hobby, except to think of something I,d enjoy. He was excited when he knew we got a good deal. Both smelled wonderful.

    Bloomington, IN

  6. Love your list. I've been wearing a lot of BaV also recently and I think I've stockpiled enough for several lifetimes (must have once belonged to a culture that believed you could take it with you and have your tomb piled high with necessities - mine would be awkwardly jam packed with perfume and books). I've also been frequently reaching for YSL Y, Chant d'Aromes, Ma Griffe, Diorling, Bandit, Fracas, the original Chloe, Valentino, Scherrer and Armani, Alpona, Tabac Blond, Lelong Taglio (aka N), Fracas, Molinard Orval and Pierre Dune's Evocation d'Orchidee (this is one of my stoppered bottles that I innocently thought were behaving nicely and sitting quietly, very tightly stoppered inside their boxes in a dark, cool room, but recently discovered were actually busy evaporating away, escaping to who knows where and the Pierre Dunes, for which I have no back ups, were among the worst - aargh!). I am a hopeless vintage addict for so very many reasons, but, recently especially, I love the fact that they give me the illusion of living in an era when there seemed to have been more time and lack of time is my big issue these days. Oh, and an era when sun damage was not an extreme concern (well, at least when I'm wearing the green chypres of the 60s and early 70s). How I'd love to be able to spend entire days outside with zero thoughts about sun protection.

  7. you guys are so sweet. envy!

    ah arpege, my mom used to have one. it is long gone, of course, and on this side of the world, vintage bottles are really hard to come by (the older generations were not too well off to afford these luxuries). but my maternal grandmother was a merchant who flew to singapore often to on buying trips, and often gifted my mom these vintage pieces (chanel, jean patou, etc) that now i think about it, was quite sophisticated buys for my grandmother, who is very traditional and do not wear perfumes herself.

  8. Can I come to your house and sleep between you and The Husband? Seriously. Last night I "chanced it" and sprayed a little Eau Savage on before going out. My husband sneezed violently four times and rolled down the car windows....despite the fact it was raining. And glared at me.....just in case I forgot his perfume allergy. He almost goes in anaphylactic shock when I douse on the vintage Arpege, Bal a Versailles or Azuree. And DON'T even THINK about lighting a scented candle. His nose is a total buzz kill.

    1. I feel your pain. My husband often gets migraine from scent, so house is completely scentless and I only wear perfume at work. It is a bummer indeed.

  9. This illustrates how excellent mainstream perfume used to be. nozknoz

  10. Wrappings by Clinique is my Spring scent since the college days. Now I have a vintage bottle from Germany, which says Linique instead of Clinique. At their beginnings on the German market, they had to change the name on the package. Btw, this one is very well reformulated and I don't mind buying a new bottle if necessary.

  11. Ah, you are speaking my perfume language right now! I wore Coriandre and loved it in the early 80s. I am obsessing over Bal a Versailles (own a vintage edt) and Arpege (need the edp) myself right now. Egoiste may be my most favourite men's cologne ever, unless you count Equipage! So sexy and I'm on a nostalgia trip right now, remembering the ghosts of boyfriend colognes past....

  12. I adore this blog, my new discovery! I just tweeted it - I don't use Google+ but am very active on and have stacks of followers on Twitter.

    My favourite perfumes are Guerlain - I adore them and feel transported back to the 1920s - especially with L'Heure Bleue! The only problem is that they don't last on me. I squirt something I hate in a shop, it stays all day. I put Mitsouko on, it's gone in an hour. Such a shame!


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