Saturday, 28 July 2012

What's in my Mum's Perfume Archive?


I embarked on a little treasure hunt when I visited my parents at Easter. The house where my parents live, used to belong to my grandparents. Despite my Mum's best efforts at space-clearing (she's really a 'keep it, just in case' kind of gal) there's evidence of my Grandma everywhere. There's also quite a lot of 'stuff' that belonged to both my sister and myself. We never lived in this house but my parents have dutifully held on to our things through their various moves. Which is quite impressive considering they've changed continents, as well as houses, since I left home!

One passion that the ladies in my family share, is a love of perfume. I was certain that if I did a little digging, I would find an eclectic mix of perfume bottles in the house, both old and new. In fact, I found quite a lot more than I expected, including a couple that might have found their way into my suitcase before I left. There are too many bottles for me to try talk about them all individually, particularly as I didn't get chance to sniff them all, but I have tried to list as many as possible. Of course, some of them really do merit a special mention, particularly from a nostalgic point of view.



Yardley Lace // Yve Eau de Parfum by Giovanni Barrini // Ylena by Giovanni Barrini // Accent Solitare // Multiple bottles of Cachet by Prince Matchabelli // Courant Eau de Parfum Mist by Helena Rubinstein // Yardley Gold Deodorant // Panache Perfume Cologne Spray by Lentheric // Four bottle of Yardley Laughter // First Lady by Dadi // Le Jardin Fleur de Rose EdT by Max Factor // Avert Avert Ypres by Constance Carroll // A Touch of Class by Faberge Cologne // Amando Noir Aftershave // Tea Rose by The Perfumer's Workshop Ltd

The collection above is dominated by bottles that belonged to my Grandmother and I was unsurprised to see a lot of Yardley fragrances. You will notice multiple bottles of Yardley Laughter. This was my Grandmother's signature scent and once it was discontinued, the whole family was under instructions to purchase bottles should we spot them. It reminds me that the irritation of discontinued favourites isn't an especially new phenomenon.

Another perfume that I found in multiples was Cachet by Prince Matchabelli. I remember this perfume well and I'm pretty sure one of these bottles once belonged to me. If memory serves me correctly, the USP for this perfume was that it allegedly smelled different on everyone. Although the name Cachet is well known, I don't think I've come across the name Prince Matchabelli before and I had assumed that Cachet was produced by a different fragrance house. Apparently, the Prince Matchabelli name was once owned by an arm of Unilever.



Shiseido - Relaxing Fragrance // Tendre Poison Eau de Toilette by Christian Dior // Tuscany Per Donna Eau de Parfum by Aramis (not pictured)  // Miss Dior Parfum by Christian Dior // Cacherel Eau de Toilette pour L'Homme // Roger & Gallet Vetyver Eau de Cologne // There's also more Yardley Laughter and other Yardley body sprays in the top picture.

Out of this group, I think the Miss Dior perfume was the most interesting find. I'm sure a perfume expert would be able tell me approximately how old this bottle is but I would guess from the packaging that it is a truly vintage bottle. I couldn't resist giving it a try and thankfully it hasn't gone off. I should mention that my Mum is careful to store her hoarded perfumes in a cool dark place, in their original boxes where possible. Even if she can't remember exactly where she's hidden them...

The Cacherel aftershave I know for certain is one of my Mum's purchases. I've often known her to wear fragrances designed for men, one of her particular favourites being Eau Sauvage by Dior. Although it isn't pictured here, I gifted her my bottle of Molton Brown Singosari, as I knew she would love it. Singosari is a unisex fragrance but seems to share some of the notes of the male fragrances that appeal to her.

The Shiseido Relaxing Fragrance was entirely new to me and I hadn't realised until discovering it that Shiseido made perfumes. It's a rather lovely fresh, green scent and, if I thought my Mum wouldn't have missed it, this would have found its way home with me too.


Chanel Allure Eau de Toilette // Yves Rocher Nature // Cabotine de Gres Limited Edition Eau de Toilete // Aftelier Perfume and For Strange Women samples in the tin

With the exception of the Yves Rocher Nature, which is an old bottle of mine, these are my Mum's newer acquisitions. Although my Mum loves perfume, she does struggle sometimes with a scent triggering a migraine. In recent years, she's become quite adept at mixing perfumes in oil form with a body cream so that she can custom blend the strength. Knowing this, I was pretty certain she would appreciate the oils and solid fragrances from Aftelier Perfumes and For Strange Women. Hence, her acquisition of my tin of samples.



Talking of samples, here's a set of my Mum's that I covet. My Mum and Dad have spent a number of years living in the Middle East and this is how she discovered Amouage. She's benefitted from sales and special shopping events and I believe this is how she came by this little sampler set. She also has some Amouage oils which I have never seen in the UK.


I thought I'd leave you with this photo of Miss MB 'helping' me. It would seem that she's poised to carry on the family tradition, maybe not in her desire to wear perfume but certainly in wanting to run off with someone else's!!


  1. What a beautiful collection, and a lovely tribute to your Grandma.

    My late Nanna had a signature fragrance, Yardley Gardenia. I recently asked their PR team if it was ever to be made again, but sadly no.

    She also loved Coty Laimant which both Mum and I can't stand, but a whiff of it now brings back fond memories.

    While Mum does have many different bottles on her dresser, including some amazing vintage Chanel 19 bottles mad sprays, she seems to stick to only one or two for her daily wear.

    I'm a bit more changeable, alternating Chanel with L'Occitane, Fresh Index with Abahna and loving my new House of Thara!

    Thank you for a memory provoking post!

    Sam x

  2. Wow, what an amazing collection!

    I've recently gotten into scents so I find them all quite fascinating. I'd love to find out when that Miss Dior perfume was released. I know the first Miss Dior was released in 1947, but then I can only find 'official' mentions of it starting again from 2005. The best I could find was this - stating it's from the late '70s/ early 80s.

  3. This is such a beautiful and nostalgic post. I am in love with the history behind this and the memories that will linger along with the scents.

  4. That is a great collection, I bet you could find a scent for every mood. Thanks for sharing this, I love the pic of your little cutie at the end xx

  5. What a great post - loved seeing all the different perfumes. I love wearing Eau Savage as well - LOVE citrusy colognes!

  6. Lovely post Jane & that pic of Miss MB gave me goosebumps - so cute! x

  7. It's nice to have a mum who loves perfume too! That's a cool collection :) Perfume is very important as it can bring an image out of you :)

  8. It's nice to have a mum who loves perfume too! That's a cool collection :) Perfume is very important as it can bring an image out of you :)

  9. OMG i knew cabotine was in it!!... i think it was every 70s girl's perfume :D my mum loved it and so do i now!!....

  10. This is an interresting post! I love perfumes! I keep all my empty bottles, i just like the way they are all different.

  11. This is a breathtaking collection. I wish my grandma had collection of perfumes like this one. Very vintage :)

  12. What a lovely post about your fragrant heritage – I’m honored to be included on your Mum’s dresser!
    xo Mandy


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