Recently I had the opportunity to try several products from Maryam’s Soap Nook. She has a ton of great products — handmade soaps, scrubs, body butters, body oil, body mists, and there is always a special with extras when you spend over a certain dollar amount. She has things with scent and without scent for those of you that like your body products low octane in the fragance area.

The whipped body butter is just excellent. (No, it’s not Frederical Malle’s Beurre Exquise, but it’s also not over $100 for a tub of it!) It went on really smooth and emollient and kept me moisturized for hours, which is tough to do in Denver.  $15 for an 8 ounce jar and $25 for a 16-ounce jar.  The Shea Butter and Dead Sea Salt Glow Scrub scented with lemongrass, lime and Ginger was the bomb — loved the fragrance and got a great sloughing with a lot of moisture in the oil keeping my skin all moisturized. Followed with the body butter, I almost forgot I live in high desert… and it’s winter. $15 for an 8 ounce jar. The soaps are handmade and scented beautifully.

Some random perfume samplings:

Heeley Cardinale – Hadn’t tried any Heeley before, but this one was an incense scent, and saying incense to me is like waving zee red flag in front of  zee bull.  Notes of incense, cistus, grey amber, patchouli, and vetiver. This incense really isn’t heavy at all, it’s the uplifting variety, if incense scents can be airy.  Laying outside on a fall day with the sun shining down on you brightly with incense wafting out the windows of the monastery nearby — the smell of earth and sun and irreverent reverence.  Beautifully done and well worth a sniff by all incense lovers.   $80 for 100 ml, available from Luckyscent.

Isabey Gardenia —  Once upon a time I got married, and I foolishly decided to have the moms wear corsages made of gardenias because, well, who doesn’t love gardenias?  If any of you have spent a few hours in close proximity to gardenias in close quarters, you know why you don’t swath the moms in gardenias — they were ever-so-gently trying to discard them into the trash after two hours.  They become oppressive and — the gardenias, not the moms — almost unbearable, like eating a whole box of See’s chocolates, not that I’ve ever done that (crosses self, promises to go to confession this week for that whopper).  When I heard people caterwauling about this Isabey Gardenia, which is a reissue of a fragrance from 1929, I was thinking they are obviously Southern hothouse flowers used to oppressive gardenia smells. Sorry, don’t mean it, I love the South.  Notes of tangerine bark, ylang-ylang, orange flowers, gardenia extract, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, iris, musk, ambergris, sandalwood.  Give the perfumer a few gold stars here, he/she got the gardenia and blended it beautifully so I don’t want to discard my arm. It’s not oppressive at all, it’s got the best of the gardenia all wrapped up so it comes through beautifully without that heady overripeness that the real flower has.  Also available from Luckyscent for the jaw-dropping $165 for 50 mls, which just put the brakes on my lusting after it. 

And then there was a horrible shopping accident.  What has happened to me?  Long ago, I never really cared about the pure parfum versions of perfume or about bottles. I just want the juice, it doesn’t matter if it comes in a Mason jar with a screw-top lid on it.  In one weekend, the pure parfum versions of Fath de Fath (Katie, isn’t it you that raves about this one all the time?); Nina Ricci Capricci and Farouche; and Guerlain Vol de Nuit and Nahema parfums fell into my eBay shopping cart.  This is just insane.  I’m blaming certain people out there who talk to me about vintage and bottles, and you should know who you are. But just look at that Capricci bottle! (photo from Passionforperfume)  Okay, My credit cards are officially melted, and I am totally ignoring any other vintage butterflies that go flitting by.

I have to know, for those of you that do vintage perfumes, what has been your best find ever?

  • Katie says:

    Well, I do so hope you like it, or else I’m gonna have egg all over my face and feel so embarrased!:((
    The reissue version is a very opulent vanillic take, and I can’t imagine how rich the parfum must be. *keeps fingers crossed for Patty*

  • evilpeony says:

    Hey patty, just wanted to let you know that i…or rather, my dearest mom… got the package yesterday! thank you thank you. @};- i can’t wait to visit the folks to sample those fabulous Carons <:-p i coined the name after my experience with stella on 2 :-& i didn't think peony could smell so nauseating before that. anyway... hope that capricci flies straight to your doorstep. <:-p im so envious. capricci is my childhood HG... to this day, im still bitter my mom gave away her mini to somebody forgettable.

  • Patty says:

    E — weddings and gardenias, definitely agree, they are a no-no. Wish someone would have clued me in.

    Your concoction sounds pretty fab. perfume and milk are just perfect together! 🙂

  • Patty says:

    What great finds, Cindy! I’m so jealous. 🙂 I’m just not sure I have the patience to stalk that long or that much for these things.

  • Patty says:

    Katie, I knew it was you! I’m pretty sure I have the reissue, not the original, but I’ll wait until it gets to see, but that’s my guess… clueless me didn’t even realize there was a difference. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Robin, so you’re saying I should get both? 🙂 I can probably skip the Cardinale since I have things like it already, but that Gardenia is calling my name pretty steady.

  • Patty says:

    Hey, Bev, glad everything showed up okay! Scent is a fun journey, sometimes stinky and sometimes beautiful!

  • Emotenote says:

    Ugh, gardenia. I love the flower on the bush but after having al the men at my wedding wearing gardenias in their lapels (mom’s idea) I can’t take the smell on my body. The men came up with a way to limit the smell until the ceremony, wet paper towels. We have some great pictures of men in tuxes with wet paper blobs on their coats.

    As for vintage perfumes, I’m pretty much in the dark, although as a child I did make disgusting potions with my grandmothers very expensive fragrances which I’m sure would be very sought after today. She really didn’t appreciate my artistry, after the perfume and milk incident.

  • CindyN says:

    Isn’t Isabey wonderful! I was lurking/waiting about 2 yrs for it and finally snapped it up as soon as LS had it in stock for this new release.
    My vintage scores: Vol de Nuit Parfum from and estate sale in the zebra box,and Nuit de Noel parfum from the same sale. SIP Lady Day is wonderful, but I prefer Isabey. BTW–if you want Lady Day, they now call it “Untitled” since the Billie Holliday people got a tad pissy with them. I had to call and ask for it since it wasn’t on their website.

  • Katie says:

    Heh, yeah, I shall be more than happy to claim the blame/credit for extolling FdF 😡 It’s so lovely, and I am so happy for you that you have uncovered it in parfum and edt! I do hope that you enjoy the juice, though, in addition to those lovely old flacons! I presume you picked up the old 50s version, yes? Although, I really love the 90s reissue version, too, so either way, you’ve got a winner on your hands. Heh.

  • Robin says:

    The Isabey is gorgeous, and really liking that new Heeley Cardinal, easily the best thing that I’ve tried from the line so far.

  • Beverly says:

    Patty – just to let you know your package arrived in today’s mail and how lovely you were to wrap it in gold mesh and tie it with a pretty little burgundy and gold bow! That is class! I am sniffing the Carnal Flower as well as the little lagniappe (Mikaydo?). So, the latter takes me back to Capitol Hill, Washington DC, my first husband (ewwwwghhh) and the hippie Emporium of the early 70’s. Needless to say, is not a happy scent for me! I am also taking DEEP whiffs of the Carnal Flower and it smells exactly like another fragrance, now that it’s been on for over five minutes, but I cannot think of what it is. I don’t know what all the fuss is about with this new F. Malle scent, but I shall wear it to lunch with my friends this weekend and see if it impresses!!
    :-w:d:d Then I’ll just order something else from you til I get something I find amazing. Thanks SO much for your care and thoughtfulness in getting this to me in such good shape. @};-

  • Patty says:

    Julie, that’s awesome! I keep hearing what a rush it is when you get the thing that everyone else missed for a great price. 🙂

    I’m not sure I want to get addicted to that. I’m so used to overpaying for everything.

  • Patty says:

    evilpeony (that name just cracks me up, you have to tell me how you came up with it). I can’t wait for the Capricci either. I’m hoping today, today, today!!!

  • Patty says:

    Denyse, I am so embarrassed that I”ve never even smelled Femme! :”> I know! I really need to rectify that, but I keep putting it off.

    What great finds! I think everyone has a story. Me, I wind up with Fake Coco… 🙂

  • Patty says:

    R — yes, you did! I tried to ignore you, but it stuck in the back of my head.

    Try the Gardenia. I didn’t think I’d like it at all, but it is very well-behaved.

    I do love Luckyscent these days.

  • Marina says:

    Poor moms! I can’t think of a fate mroe horrible than slow death by gardenia. 😮

  • Julia says:

    My best vintage find on eBay must be an unopened box of Bandit eau de toilette. Lovely retro box, immaculate condition, less than $20.

    • Is the Bandit box acid yellow with a black silk ribbon across, and the bottle with a black label ? Would you consider re-selling it ? I have just such a 30ml pwerfume bottle, alas with very little content left. Beware: the re-made Bandit has no similarity with the original – I should know as I used it over many years. This fragrance has yet to be surpassed !

  • evilpeony says:

    you lucky lucky woman to be bestowed vintage Capricci juice by the fragrance gods! I want some…. [-o<

  • carmencanada says:

    Just saying hello from the bottom of the vintage perfume rabbit hole where I stock my hoard, slavering over the keyboard for more finds… Actually, my best find was an entire STOCK of vintage Femme in all concentrations, on the very day when I signed a book contract with a publisher who was a vintage Femme addict. I now officially enough Femme to see through two decades. I even offered the publisher a bottle of extrait. As a return courtesy, she offered me a full bottle of the reedition of Coty Rose Jacqueminot, in the limited re-edition the house did for its 100th anniversary, in the most beautiful Baccarat flacon. I’m not the biggest rose fan but this is actually a delicate, powdery, wearable rose for me.
    And then there were the Coty extraits: Ambre Antique and Chypre. Paid a fortune for them but I’m happy to have them and all the opulent syrupy richness of them…
    I’m afraid the addiction shows no sign of calming down, though my experience is that it will. In time.

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh, this is not random at all, Patty. This is amazing! 😮

    Didn’t I tell you about the classic Nina Ricci fragrances? Capricci and Farouche are two of the best, but I also love Coeur Joie. The bottle is to die for, too.

    I need to test that Isabey. I am not a gardenia fan. They are beautiful beyond belief, but something about them makes me gag, lol.

    And the Heeley. I need to roll over to see my dear friends at luckyscent to test these. I love luckyscent, don’t you?


  • Patty says:

    J — you’r all fixed. @-)

  • Judith says:

    WTF??!! Now my original comment has appeared. Can you get rid of it so I don’t look like an attention-grabbing idiot?:”>

  • Patty says:

    J — Oh, yeah, you! :-&

    OMG, dare I even speculate how cheap that went for. I’m having a Dior thing this week, and I really wish it would pass, it’s not healthy to my budget at ALL!>:p

  • Patty says:

    Oh, Elle, I’ve seen that bottle, and it is just stunning. If that one was till available, I don’t think I could hold back, but the new one is pretty gorgeous too. You obviously need to restock. 🙂

  • Judith says:

    Patty–no I didn’t mean you, or the M&Ms–I actually meant the person who sent the stuff to the M&Ms:d

    The best way to get deals on Ebay is, of course, through bad listings.
    Thus, two of my favorites
    –1 oz French CanCan parfum in a limited edition Baccarat egg at a low price, because the seller neglected to put “Caron” in the listing (do you know how hard it is to search for FCC if the listing doesn’t say “Caron”–you can imagine what comes up:)
    –1 1/2 oz of vintage Miss Dior parfum in the amphore at a ridiculously low price, because the seller didn’t mention “amphore,” “parfum” or the size!! (and then she included 1 oz of Bal a Versailles parfum as an extra!)–things were evened out a little, though, when DH managed to spill half the Miss Dior in opening it (at least he didn’t break the amphore)!

  • Elle says:

    SIP Lady Day is Strange Invisible Perfumes’ gardenia. It’s incredibly delicious after the first few awkward minutes that most SIPs force you to endure (and sniffing the scent in the bottle often brings to mind raw sewage).
    I got the Isabey back when only George had it (the white sort of kidney/tear drop shaped bottle), but now I want that gorgeous gold bottle at LS as well. Justifying this because I’m running perilously low and I can’t see just how low because the bottle is opaque – hate that.

  • Patty says:

    Camilla, get out!! Shocking! I love that bottle, and I don’t care about bottles, I swear!!!

    You can relax here, we’re all as bad as you are, maybe. 🙂 But we won’t find you weird, promise.

  • Patty says:

    J — it totally was NOT me that said the D-word on the blogs. It was that M&M duo, I’m sure of it. 🙂

    My biggest irritation… when you are bird-dogging something on eBay and someone posts it on MUA, just to make sure all bidders are alerted and either bidding it up ahead of time or putting in a ridiculous snipe amount.

  • Patty says:

    March, that box only thing was hysterical, and I didn’t mean to laugh at you, except, well, it was funny. Is this why you didn’t tell me about the postcard?

    If you can’t find the Isabey, holler, I’ll send you my sample. Best to have it out of temptation’s way.

  • Patty says:

    E — did you get the Gardenia? I’m toying with it, but ick, the price! What is SIP Lady Day?

    This is why I’ve avoided the vintages most o the time up to now, they definitely have a Siren Call about them — just bid $10 more, you’ll get it, etc., etc.

  • Patty says:

    Hey, Agritty, I’m not getting the vintage Vol de Nuit, so I don’t know, sorry!

  • Camilla says:

    OK, I’m totally sucked in by this one, even though I should be getting ready for work right now. Just love those vintage perfumes!

    Best finds? A nearly full bottle of Shocking perfume by Ella Schirapelli (forgive my spelling). The bottle is a scream and the crystal daubber is so elegant. This one smells of herbs and rose, with the best honey note right in the middle of it. Really fantastic complex stuff. A giant vintage bottle of Shalimar (sadly, the cologne version but it is divine none the less). And a gorgeous bottle of the original Idole by Lubin (wow, now that stuff is stinky, a fishy indolic jasmine and thick as pancake syrup that I absolutely love). Oh, and a little bottle of something called Royal Gardens which is also a perfume formula; it is tart, sweet and incense-y, an insanely good heliotrope cherry pie confection that I wear one tiny drop at a time. I have more, but least you all realize what a fiend I truely am, I think I’ll just shut up now…;)

  • Judith says:

    Sigh! I wrote a long comment about vintage finds (mostly having to do with good deals) but it seems to have disappeared into the blogosphere–and I just don’t have the energy to do it again|-). So I will mostly second Elle’s comments–I love Isabey Gardenia, and falling down the vintage rabbit hole is very dangerous, indeed! And I guess, as you would expect, my best coup was probably getting the D-scent, which I think I will never see again (I snuck in, because it was NOT in a beautiful bottle, but only a lowly 1 oz. tester–mostly gone now:(–so the perfume collectors weren’t interested)–and it hadn’t been talked about all over the blogs–I should kill the person ultimately responsible for that :d

    Trying the Heelys now–not so impressed–although the incense is better than the leather, which is really meh.

  • March says:

    Oh, you’ve already heard my greatest worldwide eBay stories. The one I bought in French that was empty (and said so).:-” The other one that was a POSTCARD of the item (what a great price, too!)

    Marina and I still reminisce about the Ones that Got Away … like that $35 bottle of Guerlinade we both failed to bid on.

    Define “best” find? First one I said I don’t care what it costs, it’s mine: Guerlain Philtre. Probably rarest: Guerlain Jasmin. Greatest steal: giant Guerlain bottle of Parure EDT for $13… the juice is just okay, but the bottle is amazing. That silly Avon bottle of teen-juice Trailing Arbutus made me happy, all out of proportion to what it cost.

    Dang, I know I have that Isabey here somewhere — where is it??!?:-l

  • Elle says:

    Love Isabey madly. Definitely my fav gardenia. Although SIP Lady Day is nipping at its heels.
    Falling down the rabbit hole of vintage parfums is *dangerous*. God, don’t I know. Because no matter what your budget is saying, *how* can you pass up a bottle that might *never* appear again? Ever? Ever? OK, chances are damn good it will, but there’s always the uncertainty and that is my undoing. I need to join vintage perfumistas anonymous. 🙁
    As far as finds go, there are few I’ve found that other vintage perfumistas haven’t found as well. And a couple of “finds” turned out to be factices. :((

  • Agritty says:

    Is the vintage Vol de Nuit markedly different from the present version? It is my favorite scent, and I have been wondering about the possible differences, even though it is supposed to be unchanged.