This week and for almost no good reason, comes a little trio of vintage finds. Each is worth mentioning in its own right but I'm not up for three separate posts. First is Kidmetics Cologne... we have tons of this type stuff on the market now, toiletry products aimed at post-Johnson and Johnson aged kids. But back in 1953, the ads for Kidmetics grooming products for children asked, "Why hasn't somebody thought of this before?" Boxed sets contained children's shampoo, cologne and powder. This weekend I came across a little bottle of their Sugar 'n Spice cologne and it reminded me of sweeter by-gone days.
(image: my own)
Sugar 'n Spice was a classic idea for children but today the popularity of foody notes in perfumes has soared so much that we see sugar and spice themes in many adult releases, as well. Luckily for us, the perfumer usually works in a few other notes as well to hold one's interest. But I get the feeling that this children's scent was an afterthought of a marketing man's scheme to appeal to a new target demographic for consumers, and that it is done without much respect for the recipeint... Kidmetics' Sugar 'n Spice smells sweet and plasticy.
(image: Ebay seller cagna03)
(image from graphic-design.tjs-labs.com)
It's flat and heavy and reminds me a little bit of the gas they used to put you under when you got your tonsils pulled out, back in the day of big black rubber gas masks. It's that type of sickly oversweet thing... and under this top is a faintly sour, powdery underscent; there is a smidgen of cookie dough, as well. Mostly it is worthy for its cute retro graphic label and cool bakelite caps. Cute graphics on the box, too, and perhaps, if the ad is correct, it was the forerunner of a now huge category of cosmetic related grooming products for kids. From the Kidmetics division of Associated Brands, Inc, Brookland, New York, circa 1953.
(image from vintageadbrowser, Lentheric 1945)
Next is Lentheric Miracle cologne. Miracle is a sparkingly citrus cocktail with sweet herbal touches that highlight a light chypre base; really delish, it's a tall drink of cool water. I've said before that I'm a little shy of collecting Lentheric, many of their scents that I come across, seem to have turned... The set above contains Miracle, Shang-hai and Tweed, three of the biggest sellers for Lentheric in 1945-1955 years. I had issues with one of the companion bottles to this one, the bottle of Shang-Hai, because the perfume had broken apart into dark balls of oil in a clear liquid... But, perhaps it's only been bad luck so far? Happily for me this specimen of Miracle smells lovely and makes me want to look further into this brand I've mostly neglected.
And lastly a shout-out for my growing passion- vintage powder rouges. The ones you see in my photo wit the perfumes is Avon Dressing Table Rouge, in Ripe Cherry. The center one is a vintage find and lastly is Heather's Oramber. These powder rouges can be fantastic finds! They tend to survive mostly intact, in wear-able form, even these many years later, giving a dynamite selection of authentic vintage colors. The powder is finely milled and contains some of the most highly pigmented of any powders I've found, including modern stage make-up. I have Oramber, a somehow cool light coral, and now this beautiful bright cherry red (brighter than it appears) in my collection. Both appear clownishly bright in the pan but when blended give surprisingly fresh and natural looking results. I use it mostly to tint my lips. Dotting it on with a small amount of lip balm creates a very pretty and very buildable color, giving anything from the sheerest wash to the deepest high drama matte velvet lip. Just a tiny dot on the apples of the cheeks, blended with a dot of that same lip balm, gives you the shining flushed cheeks of a young Elizabeth Taylor. A little black mascara and a swipe of black liner along the top lashline (a wash of sheer white eyeshadow), and you have a fresh faced, vintage look that has never gone out of style. Now the disclaimer- I know and control the products I use on my body and so should you. Never wear anything you haven't checked out first, with vintage as with new.
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.