Monday, January 28, 2008

Perfume Fair : Photos and Experiences

In the city where I live there is a large hall where fairs and conventions are held almost every weekend. There have been paranormal conventions, jewelry fairs, reptilian fairs, culinary fairs, toy fairs, you name it. It never even crossed my mind that there could be such a thing as a perfume fair – after all I’d never seen one advertised where I live – but on a rainy evening filled with boredom a couple of months ago it suddenly struck me: Why shouldn’t there be one? There seemed to be one for just about everything else! This sudden inspiration to look for a perfume fair proved to be fruitful. There wasn’t to be just one, but several perfume fairs all through 2008. None of them were going to be held in my city, but serendipitously, the first one of the year was going to be held in a nearby village, that was really just a few minutes away by car. This was yesterday, and even though the event was rather small, I am still buzzing with excitement! I went there not knowing quite what to expect: Were there going to be any independent hobby perfumers there showcasing their work? Was the focus mainly going to be on miniatures? Did I even dare think that I might find something exceptional and exciting? No, to be honest I couldn’t even bare to contemplate the thought, for fear that my hopes would crash and burn in disappointment once I was actually there. But I needn’t have worried: Even though the fair was (even by the admission of the organizer with whom I had the chance to chat for while) relatively small this time and the turnout not as good as expected, to me it was wonderfully exciting. There were sellers from the Netherlands, from Belgium, from Germany and even from Portugal and not all of them spoke English or Dutch, but somehow we all made do, either with broken French and German or just by simply using our fingers! The focus was on vintage bottles, perfumes and powders as well as commercial modern perfumes and minis but there were also a good number of vintage soaps and large factice display flacons to be had as well as a few vintage boxes. I had the chance to meet a few likeminded, exceptional people who showed me maps of their own collections, filled me in on the ins and outs of perfume fairs and advised me on which is the absolute must-go-to fair this year. I found two sellers with whom I am most definitely going to keep in contact with as I continue my search for some long-lost favorites. Most excitingly...I got me some wonderful deals! I did decide before leaving the house what I was prepared to spend and only had this amount of money with me, a restriction which certainly kept my spending in check while I was there. (A much needed restriction might I add, since my feeling once there can be likened to the mouthwatering delight a kid would experience if let loose in a candy store!) My favorite purchase of the day was definitely a sealed crystal vintage bottle of Mitsouko extrait from the early 50s in the rare rosebud stopper flacon, but I also grabbed Lucien Lelong’s Indiscret and Jolie Bouquet as well as Coty’s Muguet de Bois for unbelievable prices. The rest of my budget was spent on miniatures both old and new for my collection. There were many sinful Sirens singing (a vintage bottle of Liu from the 1920s, a vintage bottle of Nahema extrait, vintage Givenchys and Balenciagas...) but once I had exceeded my limit all I could do was admire them from afar, resisting their Siren call. But it is alright, isn’t it? There’s another perfume fair coming up...and another, and another. I hope you enjoy the few pictures I took! I wish I had taken more now that the day is over, but while there I hardly wanted to lift the camera, all I wanted to do was look and touch and sniff!

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this box of Piver’s Trefle Incarnat, which happens to be number one on my wishlist of vintage perfumes. Unfortunately when I opened the box all that I found inside was the four-leaf clover stopper the bottle was sometimes presented with. Like a sorcerous genie that had magicked itself away leaving only its curly-toed shoes behind, the bottle had vanished. Someday.

Picture of Tabac Blond Powder (full and sweet smelling as though it was new)

Vintage bottle of Crepe de Chine

I love this picture!

Nice presentation for Lancome’s Tresor

Limited Edition Presentation for Caron’s Nuit de Noel (No. 75 of 100)

My own favorite buy of the day, Mitsouko Extrait

PS: It is really worth it to right click the pics and open them in a seperate window, especially when it comes to the first picture of the Nuit de Noel LE presentation. It is soooooo beautiful!


Linda said...

Dear Divina,
I wish you could see the colour of my face - yes, bright green with envy. Mitsouko in a vintage bottle, Nahema, Liu, Caron, Coty... What a paradise of goodies, and what a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I think you were very abstemious, too, to limit yourself to a certain amount: I'm afraid the spending bug wold have bitten me very early on!
Lovely photos, and a great post,
Warmest wishes,

Anya said...

Dear Divina:
What an absolutely incredible, heavenly event! The photos are gorgeous, and I am so glad you were able to score such beauties.

Linda said...

Sorry dear Divina if I sounded too envious - I didn't mean to sound self obsessed. Of course you deserve all the riches that come your way!

edwardian said...

Sometimes I dream I'm in a place like the fair you visited, I really do. Of course I'm happy you found the treasures you describe (and just a little envious), after all, good things -scents- come to those who wish them.

Divina said...

My dearest, dearest Linda! Please do not worry - there is absolutely no need to say sorry! I know you are happy for my buzz, girl! Big hugs!

Divina said...

Dear Anya, thank you! I was really really hoping there would be some independed perfumers like yourself there, showcasing their gems. Unfortunately, there were none. Are there such conventions where you live? And if so, do independent perfumers participate? Perhaps even a convention just for natural perfumers? That would be really interesting!

Divina said...

Edwardian, it is so good to see you again! Thank you for sharing my happiness! You know? I am always jealous of people that live in the USA because they have so many opportunities to find some treasures at estate sales and sometimes even at garage sales.. So I am really glad I've had the chance to discover something special where I live too! Are there opportunities to find rare/old gems in Italy?


tmp00 said...


I am with Linda- my skin is now greener than my eyes! I am so happy for you that you got to experience this and soooo annoyed that I couldn't be there with you as my guide!

Oh and I got you wonderful, kind, lovely package today; I was so thrilled and so touched and I hope to return the favor soon. Please don't hesitate to let me know what I can send your way...

Thanks to you again, dear kind one!

Haus von Stone said...

Wow, I would love to go to one of these. I live in Germany - do you know if this was a travelling fair? Also, what was it called in Dutch? I wonder what the right word would be in German, because "messe" seems to big. Your pictures and finds are great!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Hope you find your trefle incarnat someday!


edwardian said...

Divina, I never thought i could have an interest in vintage perfume, until I read about it in blogs like yours (which is always wonderful). Now I think I'll have to investigate, starting from my town, if there are fairs or maybe antique shops dealing in old perfumes; I'll let you know if something comes up. And thanks for welcoming me back with such warmth; in the past three months a lot has happened to me (including kidney stones and a trip to Argentina) but all went well and since I've already bought more perfume during this month alone than I could ever use in the whole year I think I'm officially back on the right track.

Italian girl said...

Divina.. Loved your blog, Muguets des bois.. another one I love.. The photos you took were fabulous and the fair sounds like so much fun. I feel just like your other readers. I honestly don't think there is anything of that sort here in my area.. Do people swap perfumes?? For example, I have an EScada Magnetism that is about 1/4 used.. would any of your readers want it? Maybe in exchange for something else?? or I also have a Calyx by Prescriptives about 1/4 used with a body lotion.. another scrubber on me--smelled on someone else and was HEAVENLY on me smells obnoxious.. Do people swap perfumes like that?? Just curious if anyone had any input or knew of website where one could do that.

Divina said...

Tom, dear, you are so very welcome! I am so happy you enjoyed the packet! As for the fair I'd love to go to one with you! Any plans to visit Europe? :) The biggest one is going to take place in Spring.



Divina said...

Haus: thank you for posting! From what I understood this is not a travelling fair, no. If I understood correctly, there are 2 Dutch organizers who have booked the venues and set the dates and then the sellers take part. As for how a fair is called in Dutch, it is a "beurs". Where do you live in Germany? Perhaps we can find one close to the border. Mail me if you would like me to look for you.

Divina said...

Christine, thank you so much for your wish and for posting :)

Divina said...

Edwardian, dearest, I am glad everything went well! Travelling to Argentina must have been so exciting - I am jealous! (I've travelled extensively in Europe, but never outside the continent, so I'm jealous!)

Divina said...

Italian Girl, thank you soooo much for your kind words! They mean so much to me! As for swapping, yes, there are some fora devoted to that. I know people swap on the makeup alley and I believe there is also a swapping area in the Perfume Posse Forum.

Mariuca said...

Hola Divina! Perfume fair sounds simply heavenly! Love the pics!!

PS. I have some awards for u! :)