I'm beginning to turn into one of those people I used to point and laugh at a lot as a kid. Those types that would be up at the crack of dawn just so they could be amongst the first to trawl through other people's crap in the hope of finding a small trinket of some monetary or sentimental value. But living in Denmark has opened my eyes. If there's one thing the Danes do well - its flea markets!
Yesterday it just so happens my wife and I found ourselves in such a place. She was looking at old wooden furniture, and I was perusing tables covered in psychedelically-glazed pottery pieces and tarnished antique silverware. Then my eyes fell upon this charming little perfume bottle... a weighty object, gilt in gold and enamelled in vivid colours. Five dollars. It was mine. I opened the bottle in the hope I could smell the residue hiding within, and discovered it 70% full with a beautiful perfumed oil... something rich and mysterious. Something from the East. It was a fortunate find.
Then this got me thinking. I recalled the times in the past that I've come across countless flacons and vintage bottles of scent in various markets, antique stores and auction houses. I've previously purchased Worth's Je Reviens, Chanel's No. 5, Lanvin's Arpége, Arden's Bluegrass and Rochas' Madame Rochas for a fraction of their value. How did they come to leave the hands of their owners? I've always wondered. Deceased estates? Lack of love? Need for money?
I've been amazed at finding full, untouched bottles that perhaps had been put away for "good" - possibly an extravagant gift from a hard-working husband, somewhere back in time... one that never got worn because it was just far too precious. ...And here I am - decades later - faced with the same choice. Do I open these bottles and lavish these scents on my loved ones and allow all to experience their timeless richness and charm? Or, do I keep them sealed and preserve these aesthetically appealing and historically important objects from yesteryear? A tough decision to make. Whilst I contemplate, the collection, stored in a dark draw away from temperature and light; continues to grow.