Bittersweet Monday: Savoring your treasures

savoring time travel 2OK, all you perfume hoarders, this one’s for you. Looking through some old B&W photos of my family from way back when put me in a bittersweet haze of nostalgia, so I went into savoring mode and pulled out my wee little dabs of Chanel Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russe parfums.

The Russe was almost gone, so I tipped the remaining drop out on my wrist, in the spirit of savoring it before it had completely evaporated. Its loss will be mourned as it is tres elegant and a near-masterpiece of fragrance, but I don’t think I’ll be quite moved to tears, having never been a true-blue leather fiend.

The Bois des Iles, however, is another matter. At the risk of sounding schmaltzy, Its warm, silky, divine gingerbread-y goodness makes me swoon a little, and makes my perfume-loving little heart go pitter-patter with happiness. Not to have a comfortable supply of this is nearly heartbreaking. When my little vial is empty, I fear I will cry, and it won’t be pretty. Alas, my wallet cannot take the hit of $225 for 15 mls, especially not with an aging car (pushing 260,000 miles) and college just around the corner for my teenager. Sigh …

Used to be you could get a little sample from the decanting services without spending in the neighborhood of a car payment, but since Chanel cracked down, it’s been rough. I guess there still may be perfumista splits from time to time, but I always seem to be out of the loop on those.

Anyhoo, later this spring, I will break out my heartbreakingly beautiful Vacances, savoring its lilac loveliness for all it’s worth (waves to Musette). I have a bit more of this, luckily, thus putting off the grief for another year or two. Btw, I thought someone was re-issuing all the Patou classics over the past few years? Anyone know what ever happened with that?

I must confess: I have hoarded pretty heavily in the past, but am now inspired to use it or lose it, as they say. I’ve seen some gorgeous vials waste away to emptiness, with no hours of fragrant love to show for them. So from now on, my little dribs and drabs of greatness will no longer be wasted; they’re not going down without a fight.

What about you? What perfume rarity do you have secreted away, that near-Holy Grail treasure that you are hoarding, or wearing sparingly and savoring for all it’s worth?

17 Comments

  1. Gobin Daude Seve Exquise and Nuit a Desert
    I wear Seve on special occasions….
    Montale Indian Saffron from the special collection. Only have a fraction of a ml but I’m trying to make it count, it is the best hyperealistic saffron I have ever found.

    I feel you on being disappointed about evaporation. I’m noticing that especially with some fairly recent spray decants. Being in spray plus plastic seems to really shorten their lifespan.

    But yeah I am trying to get over my own Hang-Ups and just use things whenever I think I will enjoy them.

  2. I avoid decants and splash bottles as I have had evaporation problems. I am trying very hard not to hoard, as I have so much, but I will admit to hoarding the last 20 mls I have of MDCI Enlèvement au Sérail, killed by IFRA.

  3. I’m pretty sure Vacances was rereleased. I’ve been wanting to try it for some time. Speaking of Lilac, have you tried A Lilac A Day from Vilhelm Parfumerie? It is the best Lilac scent I have smelled.

  4. Patou has been re-releasing them 3 at a time. I think they’ve done 6 so far. Of course, who knows if they will do them all.

  5. I started my perfume journey by sampling some of the classics…. Mitsouko, L’ heure Bleu, Magie Noire to name a few and I think I was too adventurous too soon cause here they still sit in their little vials. I’m going to pull them out and give em another go now that my nose is a little more sophisticated and before they evaporate!

  6. I try to avoid splash bottles for a reason and even I am pulling away from decants due to evaporation. So I have to go and start using up what I’ve got.

  7. Vacances was released already. I see it regularly on eBay for $278.00. I contacted Patou but they will not ship to the US.

  8. Heya Ann,
    Recently I gave a friend a set of 1ml Caron vintage extraits that had been sitting here awaiting trial but were too special for me to wear. I was feeling guilty for not using them.They’d been sitting there unloved for nearly 2 years. My buddy is wearing, and loving them.
    Portia xx

  9. I’ve noticed the same problem with spray decants in plastic — I’m especially trying to use up my Vetiver Extraordinaire and vintage Cuir de Russie spray decants before they disappear. I scored a teeny vial decant of Diaghilev and have been hoarding it, because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to afford the $1,000 bottle!

  10. Patou has rereleased several of the Ma Collection, though I think they haven’t kept up with the plan to redo all of them. Which is, I can say after getting my hands on a big decant of the rereleased Vacances, probably just as well. Where the Ma Collection version of Vacances was tender as new leaves, wistful as nostalgia, delicate and just about perfect, the rerelease is… well, not.

    Now it smells like lilac air freshener laundry detergent — a highly chemical lilac and white musk. I could have wept. There’s no green to it at all, and that wisp of heliotrope and mimosa in the older version (what I think made it so tender and lovely) is utterly gone.

    I still have a tad of 1980s Vacances, and it’s precious. I love getting it out every spring and using some of it, which, as you so rightly point out, is best not delayed. It does not last forever. “Since to look at things in bloom, fifty springs are little room…”

  11. I have a 7 ml bottle of Shalimar. Vintage 1960’s from eBay that still had the seal on the stopper. Real Baccarat crystal outside and real Civet inside. It is glorious, a tribute to Guerlain. Now that I have opened it, I will have to use it or loose it!

  12. Only twice have I instantly fallen in love with a perfume. Once was longer ago than I care to think about and the second was with Hiram Green (limited edition) Voyage. It works for me year-round and when my bottle is gone, it’s really gone. That’s sad, but it does not keep me from using it and enjoying it very very much

  13. I tend to horde samples of fragrances no longer available or out of my price range. Reading this post is a reminder to enjoy what I have while I have it! A special vial is Chanel No 46, some Guerlains, and Roja Dove. I have a perfect bottle of vintage Bal a Versailles that I am reluctant to open but know it is meant to enjoy. I recently broke the seal on a perfect 1950s Chanel No 5 edt and am so glad that I did.

  14. I have some of my favourite perfumes from the eighties stored in the fridge. Among them Giorgio Armani stands out and reminds me of all the beautiful days back then when I was young and carefree. I wear it only for “special occasions” which is rarely so I suppose it will last a lifetime. I mostly wear my older beauties alone at home. I still have enough not to start panicking about losing them and by the time it happens I’ll have to put up with it.

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