Smells Good to Me!

One of my earliest childhood memories is of waking up in the morning to two distinct aromas: coffee percolating and my mother’s Chantilly perfume. She did not get dressed without spritzing herself with it.

Perhaps as a result of this early embedded memory, scents have always been something I feel very strongly about, am very particular about and pay close attention to. I have an extensive perfume bottle collection – mostly antiques, many contemporary handcrafted.

Here are 3 unusual ones; on the left is a green glass “light bulb” and the other two are ceramic, bought at craft shows. Below that are two of my favorite glass bottles with unusual designs and colors.

perfume 017

perfume 014

Every scent that I use and like has been influenced by someone in my life. When I was a counselor in camp, my boyfriend told me he liked someone’s perfume; I told him to buy me some on his day off. He did. That was Jean Nate. The very first bottle I bought was this signed Baccarat in which I hold that earliest used scent.

perfume 008

My cousin used to wear Ma Griffe; I adopted that as one I wear. I had a teenage friend, Genie, who used Antelope by Weil. I adopted that as well. I met a woman at the Y where I work out and she smelled so nice I asked for the name: Paris by YSL. I always have a bottle of that one. My best friend, Marilyn, wore L’Air du Temp. Now I do as well. When we were teenagers, Marilyn sent me an article that described your personality type and then suggested scents for you. I still have the article. I was type G (Floral bouquet: vivacious) and love some of the perfumes it suggested: Fame by Corday, Joy by Jean Patou and Miss Dior.




I hate the current cloying new scents that some wear. They smell up your car, the theater, the coatroom. I’m very opinionated about that; scents should be subtle, you shouldn’t smell them until you’re quite close to the person and it certainly shouldn’t overwhelm the senses. Waiters and waitresses should never wear cologne.






When a good friend’s mother died, he gave me a lovely shelving unit along with some of her perfume bottles.


When my aunt died, my husband took her wooden planter in which she had plants growing, and converted it by adding a glass top into a table to display my bottles,. She also gave me a beautiful one from the 1920’s.

I lost a good friend at the age of 48. She was into decorating bottles so I gave her an old Lauren (floral!) and this is what it looks like:

perfume 015

Finally, I also save bottles in which the scent is all used up. Here’s a display of them:

And … my favorite book? Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins. I’ve read it three times; it’s time to read it again!


  1. Linda Levine

    I’ve often seen your beautiful bottles, but never to study, and never with a complete “story”
    I learned so much about you and your fragrances and your lovely collection. The black lizard is so unusual and also the green light bulb. They are wonderful!
    There are other exquisite bottles and you have the memories of people living, and those not with you, all those who are involved with your collection ; husband, old friends, current friends aunts and your “Chantilly Mother”

  2. gail pepper

    My mother had Chanel No.5. I woke her up one morning asking her if I can could wear her Chanel No.5 and she said I couldn’t put the television on! LOl

  3. mattee

    I enjoyed your words as well as your pictures.

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