Monday, November 15, 2010

Obsessions, Vintage Perfume Bottles and other bits of beauty

This is my blog, begun because everyone else is doing it.  I won't be providing the world with jewels of wisdom, or suggesting ways to save the economy.  I will just be showcasing things I love.  Purely for my enjoyment and I hope some of my friends may find it interesting. 

It seems I have been a collector all of my life. When I was a little girl it may have been paper dolls then it was... well, not sure what else. Then I collected little girls. In my family we have always insisted that two of something is only a pair and three becomes a collection, so four daughters is surely a collection.  :-)  

Some of my more interesting collections have included antique duck decoys, stoneware crocks, baskets, antique books, bone china teacups, lace table doilies, blue and green poison bottles, siphon bottles, and I'm sure there are other things stashed away in my cupboards.  I am obsessed. But my most recent obsession, old perfume bottles will be the main subject of this blog. And after all, if you are going to be obsessed about something, why not make it about a work of art, a piece of beauty?
When I was very young I remember my mother's perfume, TABU by Dana.  Her bottle of this scent always sat on her vanity table and smelled wonderful. One day, when we were living in Portland, Oregon, she came home with two beautiful little perfume bottles, one for me and one for my sister.  They were empty, beautiful, sort of triangular in shape with ornate tops, glass daubers and painted flowers. She then decanted a bit of Tabu into each.  Mine had a green jewel on the ornate stopper and tulips painted on the sides. My sister's bottle had a red jewel on top. I still have my little bottle today with some residual perfume in it.  And so it began, my beautiful obsession, in large part because my mother introduced my sister and me to things she loved.  Today, my sister and I are old ladies and we still enjoy collecting beautiful things. 

  The next perfume that came into my life was one that was the ubiquitous scent of the day, Evening in Paris.  It seemed that every girl in my high school, except me, had a bottle of it. But it's distinctive cobalt blue glass never found it's way into my hand.  Now, primarily because of that wonderful color, it is one of my favorites.  I have collected almost every variation I can find and am still looking for more.  

The beauty of those Bourjois bottles led me to look for other blue bottles. After all, blue is my color. My mother always dressed me in blue because of my blue eyes.  My sister, whose eyes are brown, got to wear green and red. The first time I had money of my own I struck back at my mother's choices and  my school clothes were green and red that year.  But she was right, and I wear mostly blue now because I really want to.

Back to bottles, Dans la Nuit and Je Reviens, both by Worth have the same cobalt hue and have been added to my shelves in various sizes. 

The french designer Niki de Saint Phalle created a line of perfume displayed in blue that'll knock your socks off.  Her iconic snakes and bosomy women are easily recognizable.

One of the Prince Machabelli scents was presented in a beautiful little blue crown bottle and has become a favorite.

...and small atomizer bottles are also easy to find in complementary blue tones. 

Where do I go from here?  Right now I don't know but there are so many bottles, so many beautiful things that I love.  This is an unfinished work, a work in progress.  I may change things, eliminate things, add more things. I hope you have enjoyed your visit and will come back often.