The Poignancy of Vintage Perfume

I have bottles and bottles of lovely perfume on my dresser.  So many, that I don’t even know what kinds I have collected over the years.   What can I say?  I love perfume!

There is nothing so evocative as the smell of a fine perfume.  It seems to touch the depths of memory and evoke strong feelings.  Over the years I have pretty much narrowed my favorite signature perfume choices to YSL’s Opium in the winter, and Nina Ricci’s L’air du Temps in the summer.  I try some of my other perfumes from time to time, but I always go back to Opium and L’air du Temps as my mainstays.  I think that when other people comment: “what is that wonderful scent you are wearing?”  then you are wearing the right scent for you.

Lately though, I admit that I’ve been getting a little tired of a long winter wearing Opium.  I dug through my bottles and found a vintage bottle of Bellodgia by Caron and sprayed it on.  It has the most amazing, mysterious vintage-y scent and I immediately felt a jolt of poignancy.  I think it will be my new signature scent for spring.

Okay then!  Feeling more adventurous, I have also tried Lanvin’s Arpege and Chanel No. 5 from my vintage stockpile.  I don’t want to overwhelm myself with scent change, but these three all seem to have the same warm, poignant effect on me.  They just seem so complex and interesting with a wonderful history behind them.  And touch a depth deep within.

Here’s to a very aromatic spring!


4 Responses to “The Poignancy of Vintage Perfume”

  1. bobbi

    Is that your dresser you are looking at, or MINE? We share some of the same favorites…Chanel 5 reminds me of my childhood in Hawaii when my mother would spray it on before heading off to work…Arpege is what my grandmother wore and it reminds me of nuzzling in her neck, safe on her lap. Perfume can “take me” someplace..either to a distant loving memory or into a fantasy dream of my own. Personally I am a white flower girl: gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, lily, freesia. But it is the fragrance of other women that make me nostalgic.

  2. finnfemme

    Yes, Bobbi – it’s amazing how someone’s scent can be so evocative and bring back memories. I don’t wear certain scents if they ‘belong’ to someone else I know!

  3. Sophia

    Ohhhh I <3 vintage perfumes too! ALL perfume tbh. I jump around from fragrance to fragrance so I don’t really have a signature scent so to speak. HOWEVER, one day I was waiting for the clerk to ring up my eyeshadow at the Bobbi Brown counter and started sniffing the perfumes and OMG there is one called Beach that perfectly captures the scent of a hot lazy day lying in the sun at the beach! It smells like saltwater and tanning oil and a fresh breeze AND your blog just reminded me I need to buy some 😀

  4. finnfemme

    Beach sounds wonderful, Sophia. I am sitting here bundled up in a wool Norwegian sweater and waiting out a fierce wind/rain storm. Summer seems sooooooo far away right now….maybe Beach can help me capture it!

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