Paloma's Corner: Vintage Coty Parfum de Toilette Set
Today, the long-awaited coffret of .5oz Parfum de Toilette arrived in the mail (if the concentration title confuses you, scroll over to Perfume Shrine, that helped clear out the mystery). Completely out of character, I didn't rip the package open till I got home (I usually spend the short walk from the post office to home absentmindedly crossing streets as my nose is plugged to a vial of this or that, if not to my wrist...).
Just as I expected, the packaging was a bit on the tacky side: clear plastic sleeve to showcase the 4 beaus, nestled in a bonbon-like golden box (the kind that would rotate around and around as "gifts" until someone dares to open them on a pathetic chocolate-craving moment only to find inside very stale, blooming chocolates filled with syrupy liquor...). The box is lined with black faux-velvet that has dents for each bottle.
But, to my delight, unlike a stale bonbon, each bottle was in pristine condition, and more importantly - the contents are as bright as ever, as if they were still fresh. Someone must have kept them very well - away from heat, moisture and light. I'm still trying to discover the estimated date for these beauties. I have a feeling they're from the late 70's or early 80's (especially knowing that one of them was not launched till 1965 or 1966 - it can't be earlier than that). Just based on the packaging and how fresh they still smell. Only one of the bottles had part of the splash lid stuck to the mouth of the bottle (which was easily fixed).
But packaging and recent perfume history aside, I'm sure you're more interested in what was in them. The quartet includes Emeraude (1921), l'Aimant (1927), Imprévu (1965) and l'Origan (1905). I got them because they were a really great price, and these classic can't hurt to have around (even though, from my rough perfume-head count this morning, I have at least 104 bottles, if I count all the flacons and parfum extrait minis - but not count other minis... Or samples... Ahum).
Emeraude and I met before, in a thrift store, and it's very much like Shalimar, from the bottle at least. l'Aimant is intensely floral aldehydic in a way that would make No. 5 feel less lonely. Imprevu was a pleasant surprise - very light and woodsy and musky, which prompted me to apply it almost immediately (more on that later). And l'Origan smells a little aromatic but also candy-sweet, along the lines of l'Heure Bleue.
I'm excited to have something to do on such a rainy day (because, clearly, unpacking all my raw materials for my perfume making class on Sunday is "not enough work", not to mention the other trip I have to make to the post office, to ship packages & thank-you gifts and SmellyBlog prizes off). Great distractions, I suppose. But that's what makes life all the more interesting!