Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
First from the left is a small vial of vintage Avon Crimson Carnation. It is an 1/8 oz bottle, made in USA of what I believe is perfume. Very sweet, lilac, honey and orange scented carnation with a plumy rose heart and neat little civet-musky- honey bottom- no powder here! This is a mightly spicy little hot-sauce number of a carnation- too bad it seems to be pretty little known or discussed. I wonder with that name if it didn't go with a lipstick shade? Next in line is a nearly identical bottle but the 1/4 oz size, is the carnation made by La-Tausca, the Genesee Trading company brand of drug-store variety perfumes. It came in the smart gold box pictured behind it. This is a pale tinny scent with nail polish remover notes and a little peppery stale floral and a harsh musky base. Without any comparison, it reads as 'vintage carnation' but nothing special, but standing next to better scents, it really suffers. The third bottle from the left is a funky chunky nearly square presentation I love, the top a large gold cube, the bottle, a shorter glass cube that looks purple thanks to the color of the juice inside it. By Chambly Creations of Chicago, Illinois it is Sweden Carnation, in what is labeled skin parfum. It is 1/2 oz size. It smells like a drier herbal tinged composition, the carnation is rosy and slightly bruised. It also feels watery and smells a little soapy, the spice increases as it dries.
Next and to the front is a little gold embellished bottle of Nina Ricci perfume, it is not for sure to mke that this is the better known L'Air du Temps- it is a little old. This is a sharp-sweet white carnation with strong lily of the valley notes and a perfumey, emotion heightening sense to it, if that makes sense. Next is Prince Matchebelli Potpourri, a syrupy oily carnation scent (it is bath oil, after all) that is heavy on the rose and lemony facets- geramium?, with a fatter quality, less spice, not firey but nearly grape-figgy sweetness. It dries down spicier with rum notes. You can find this one on line occasionally for not too much $, the bottle is precious with little stars embossed all over and it would make for a yummy bath!
Slightly in fron of the round Potpourri bottle is a small vial of Caron Poivre- this may not be technically discontinued, but I'm not sure, it could be as well. Nevertheless it is certainly spice and it is here among my carnations- now this one comes across almost medicinal at first. It has a true tiger balm note that some people say smells like bandaides, it's almost rubbery and mentholated. Tearing on under those fumes is more spice, pepper, cloves and burnt tobacco with soft honey traces. A proper perfume with enough presence that a man could easily wear it. Behind and to the right of this is another Caron creation- the incomparable Bellodgia- a 1960 era purse parfum of 1/4 oz. Here the true honeysuckle tinged sweetness of carnaations drunk on narcissus and still perfectly pink in their cinnamon teaberry spice. This is indeed the queen of the carnations, with a tart bum of a base. Finally last in line across the front, Floris Malmaison. Here is another type of red carnation, with an animal nearly bo type note, not too strong with a dry bay leaf tinged carnation, it dries down with a strong note of finely milled french soap in perfect counterbalance to the animal scent that lasts in equal measure, a very mature & sophisticated carnation.
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Then there are the giants, EBay and Craigslist. Scary as it can be, Ebay is still the safest and dare I say it, the best. I've heard nightmares about Craigslist; NEVER agree to meet anyone in person and be careful in every contact you make - I've never consumated a deal for perfume there but I've looked around a bit. One problem I have with Craigslist is that many folks list perfumes without photos, which makes it hard to judge if you're even interested. But I think it may be getting better. Of course, keep all activies limited to buying by mail and at least you'll stay in control of your personal safety. But as far as buyer protection, I think Ebay still beats CL. But especially on Ebay keep an eye on the seller's location- sadly, it seems that some exotic and far away places are more prone to internet graft on Ebay than others... Pay attention to seller feedback too of course, and look at the seller's other items and completed listings FIRST not after making that bid. Also, ask questions before buying anything.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
You're looking at one of my new perfume cabinets which figures into my Ungaro story.
The original Ungaro perfume came out in 1977. I'm not sure when it was discontinued but occasionally you can still find it from the usual on-line suspect (E***). The bottles are gem-like, deep sapphire blue glass with an elegant pattern, topped by brilliant emerald green glass stopper (for the EDP, like mine above). The EDP is dressed up with a ruby pink ribbon at its neck, the EDT has a green plastic cap and a gold metal band instead. Save the plastic cover over the neck of the glass stopper, the presentation is quite opulent. Suggestive of gemstones and finely hung fabrics, it is as rich as the scent it houses. Released in 1977, Ungaro is very much in the style of 1980s powerhouse scents- and like Ungaro's fashions of the same period, it was a few years ahead of its time. Also like his fashions, this first scent was a melange of all good things, marrying complex layers of ingredients like precious florals, spices and woods.
The scent opens with aldehydes, rose, coriander, orange blossom, jasmine, neroli, bergamot and lemon, followed by middle notes of iris, turkish rose and lily-of-the-valley. The composition rests on a base of sandalwood, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vanilla, cedar and cardamom. An oriental fragrance, the notes promise something decadent and festive and Ungaro does not disappoint. Indeed, it is a sumptuous treat for those who like their poisons thick and sweet. In fact before I checked the dates, I thought Ungaro Women might have been a nod to Doir's iconic Poison. But considering the Ungaro preceded Dior's creation by over 20 years, perhaps it was the other way around. And although my initial perception was that the two scents were nearly identical, in smelling them side by side, I found that Poison actually does have a rather bitter heart, and so it is quite well named; Ungaro on the other hand is pure confectionery bliss. The spiciness is tamped down (no patchouli here!) and tightly wrapped up in a rosy Turkish delight, powdered with Iris sugar crystals, swimming in a bowl of vanilla-flecked musk cream. Maybe the bowl is made of wood, because it is classified as a woody oriental. But it's really a gourmand's scent, a fantasy of floralized nougat.
Ungaro is very sweet and it's longevity is stunning as well. The bottle you see in the top photo toppled over and an ounce or so of the EDP soaked into our new home's carpet right under the new perfum cabinet, so the whole area is embued with it. The rose, vanilla, musk and sandalwood have lasted longest and I keep catching whiffs of it as I walk by.
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.