Saturday, January 17, 2009

TVPV is back with a peek into the vault!

I love this bottle- Vigny's Beau Catcher, a great USA perfume from the early mid 20th century. It's a perfect model of Vicktor & Rolf's Flower Bomb bottle, but 60 years earlier and you can be sure the resemblance to a grenade was not accidental in this one either!

After recovering from a prolonged cold-flu, I finally realized I'd been delaying any posts because of a bad case of writer's block! Yes, it's true. The long promised review of Dana's Platine has turned into a major hang up for me. I have lots to say about it, but that post will have to come later (as an unannounced surprise next time around)...

In the meantime, I've been playing with some of my perfume bottles trying to organize them in a way according to their bases, classifying them into scent families.

Now, I realize you really can't even see most of the bottles in the photo but in any case, starting on the upper left are the really spicy perfumes, such as Max Factor's Hypnotique (and an old Avon Patchouli oil that is surprisingly reminisent of CDG's Luxe Patchouli to me with a similar maple syrup note). Moving to the center top shelf, some of the perfumes are spicy but more floral and powdery (all my carnations are here, even Bellodigia and a Prince Matchabelli). Then moving to the right are the sweeter orientals including Shalimar and Emeraude. Then on the far top right, I put primarily gourmandish foody stuff. On the lower shelf, I began in the right corner with aromatics (most feature lavender, like Jean Patou's Moment Supreme), moving to crisp-sharp greens like Estee Lauder's Aliage to soft/powdery greens to woods and leathers (even a modern day rare bird like Indult's Reve en Cuir earns a spot next to Chanel's Cuir de Russie!) In the lower center and then moving right, I put the strongly Animal bases, which is something you only find in vintage perfumes as nowadays most are banned. The soliflors were added in separately but I found most fit into one or another of the base type families.

I decided where perfumes went by smelling them, not considering how others have classified them, and only by wafting directly from the bottle so I got a really concentrated blast of the scent. Smelling like this makes something different of the scents than if you were to draw each one out, on paper or skin, but I wanted to smell the very blatant aspect of how each of the perfume's chemicals hit you straight from the bottle. What is sticking out most and what is it?
And this way, working from the bottle, I can work more quickly, comparing, sorting, checking again over a large range of scents without exhausting my sniffing/analyzing too much which happens if I try to use skin for more than one or two things. I found several perfume-base twins going through things in this way, too.

It was very edifying exercise, forcing myself to sniff through these bottles I've got laying around in chaos, educating my nose mainly through brute force of smelling the pillars of vintage creations, working forward through reformulations as well as duplicates, copies, riffs of ideas and especially the vintage off-beat, odds and one-offs that make you think, laugh, shake your head in wonder or run straight to the sink. I smell a good deal of current releases too, which I think is all part of the game to know the differences from the 1920s from the 40s from the 60s, 70s and 80s etc.., even develing into today's cutting edge niche.

Anyway, I thought my system was going to be great then today I got a slew of new goodies, and just dumped them in this closet, filling in most of the blank space you can see here, without taking time to sniff everything out. So it's all out of order again... And then I think about all the counter tops, drawers and other space I've dedicated to a growing maze of bottles, amazing odds and greats, still without the order I crave to impose over the whole!

In any case, I'll have lots more reviews upcoming and for sure I'll have to take more (better) pictures, this is just a peek after all...

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