The Intriguing case of the......
by, 15th July 2011 at 04:43 PM (2014 Views)
An Intriguing case for the delectation of Basenotes..............
In the 1970's little schoolchildren all over Europe were encouraged to choose penpals from a list of other little schoolchildren, the objective being that they would learn something about each other. I chose Helmut, a boy from Germany, whom I hope is happy and living well, but my story does not concern him. I also chose a girl from France. Her name was Francoise. Francoise Lelong.
In her first letter she sent a phograph. I can see it now. She was very pretty and bright and I liked her. She told me that her father made perfume. Also in the letter she enclosed a little card. I could tell you now that it was a business card. But at that time, all that I knew of it was that it was a perfumed card. Believe me esteemed reader when I tell you that I can still smell that card. Oddly, I cant really describe it other than to say that it smelled beautiful, powdery, dry, but also with something which struck a high note. I treasured that little card. It kept its fragrance for a long time, or I imagined that it did.
Sadly, as is the way with many childish pursuits, our little literary liaison did not last.
Fast forward, well ... a few years. A lovely friend gave me a special gift. She is aware of my interest in fragrance, my hobby. She lives with a magpie who has been collecting curios, stuff, and odds and sods for many years. She presented me with a little box. I will take you to it. On a sleeve made of black faux snakeskin there is a gold label. On the label we can see "Collection Les Antiques". It tells us that inside there are three perfumes from the 1930's. For two of them the perfumer is Lucien Lelong.
The intrigue deepens in other ways when we open the box because the contents do not match the sleeve. The whole appears to be made up of the remains of two similar boxes. The inside is blue faux snakeskin with a gold tassle. Nestling inside are three litle bottles of perfume, "Balalaita", "Opening Night", both by Lucien Lelong, and "Un Air Embaume", this is by by Rigaud. Are they original? I don't know. Is the perfumer my pretty penpal's grandfather....................................... .....
Footnote; This was a delightful gift to recieve but I would be happy to donate to, swap with, or make some other arrangement with someone if they have a genuine interest. One of the fragrances is still wearable. If you are interseted please contact me and I can describe the contents in greater detail.
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