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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member Aitchellsmell's Avatar
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    Default Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    I'm wondering if anyone else can confirm the existence of a particular Houbigant from the 80's--specifically it would have been around 1983. I was given a bottle of Houbigant Quelques Fleurs. It was in a pale blue, opaque bottle similar to the bottle of Chantilly (hopefully the photo will be attached here). It definitely would have been sold in a drugstore or other not-too-expensive outlet as the person who gave it to me wouldn't have had too much $$. I LOVED it, and used it up. Fast forward to years later, having a nostalgia attack I decided to order a small sample of Quelques Fleurs. It was completely different than what I had worn in 1983! My sample was ultra strong, ultra floral (duh), and so "not my jam". But I remember loving the stuff I had in '83. Now, for some time, I've been looking online, and I can not even find a picture of said blue bottle. Nada. Zip. Zero. I am SO SURE of what this was--I can still even see/remember the font used in the name on the bottle! Is there anyone out there who can verify that this actually did exist? Anyone at all? I cannot imagine that I dreamed this up--I was pretty "into" fragrances even back then. What gives?!?
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  2. #2
    Basenotes Junkie thediamondsea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Hi there! I wish I could help you, but I'm clueless about Houbigant during this era. Let's send up the bat signal to the mods to see if they can move your quesion over to where the vintage folks hang out.

    (Hey mods! I wonder if this post might be better served if we moved it to the vintage forums? Just a thought. Please help!)
    Sale Thread! (ELdO, SHL777, Jo Malone Orris & Sandalwood)

    Swap Thread! (Same as Above)

  3. #3
    Basenotes Member Aitchellsmell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Thanks, thediamondsea--didn't even think to post in the vintage arena, which probably would have been the smart move!

  4. #4
    Super Member grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Hi Aitchellsmell-

    I also can't locate a photo of a blue Quelque Fleurs atomizer, but perhaps it did exist. Vintage Quelque Fleurs was packaged in blue boxes and with blue bottle tops. I see the pink Chantilly atomizer in ads from the 1960's, so perhaps your drugstore atomizer of Quelque Fleurs appeared earlier than 1983 as well.

    And if your blue atomizer contained the true original version of Quelque Fleurs, not the “Quelque Fleurs L’Originale” version that was launched in 1985, then it would have certainly smelled completely different from the sample you ordered years later. Although QF L’Orginale (1985) is almost invariably described as though it were the same perfume as Quelque Fleurs (1912), it is not. Robert Bienaimé’s Quelque Fleurs (1912) is a rich but still delicate floral bouquet (lilac, rose, hyacinth) with waxy, creamy aldehydes and a warm base of nitromusks, peach lactone, and sandalwood. (The 1985 version is much greener and sharper with citrus, LOTV, florals and laundry musks. And the 2009 Roja Dove “recreation” is also quite different, with greens and synthesized floral notes layered on top of a boozy, honeyed amber base.)

    So you may need to search for some vintage Quelque Fleurs, as shown in this charming ad, to find the scent that was in your blue atomizer.

    IMG_2778.JPG

  5. #5
    Basenotes Member Aitchellsmell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Thanks, grayspoole. I am reassured by your descriptions of the different incarnations of QF over the years; I was completely gobsmacked by the sample I received and how radically different it was from the scent I had experienced years before. Your description of the 1912 version sounds more like what I remember. And I know absolutely that I had the bottle in 1983, so that would eliminate it being the 1985 recipe. Meanwhile I'll keep periodically browsing the net to see if a photo ever turns up...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    OP, you may also wish to post this question on the vintages forum on Fragrantica. In addition to grayspoole, there are several other very knowledgeable members there who are always willing to help, e.g. fetishforperfume, Crickett77, and hadas to name just three.
    Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.

    Gregory David Roberts

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    It existed:

    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Well done, Kotori!
    Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.

    Gregory David Roberts

  9. #9
    Super Member grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Well, there it is! Great sleuthing, Kotori! I couldn't find a vintage ad for it, but I felt sure that Houbigant must have done a QF atomizer to match the Chantilly one.

    I wonder how long these bottles were sold.

    And now I want one....

  10. #10
    Basenotes Member Aitchellsmell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    HOLY SMITERS!!!! I haven't checked this thread in awhile; came here tonight and......you FOUND IT!!!! Kotori, you are truly a top-shelf cheese melt!! Thank you so much for your stellar sleuthing. Gads, I can't believe how great it is to see the picture. Where in the world did you dig it up from? Just seeing it, I get a full-on scent memory. I'm just going to stare at the bottle for a bit now and reminisce....

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Reaffirming it definitely existed and the early1980s scent was the same as had existed for decades. I used to wear it. Grayspoole’s excellent description is right on. Great ad photo and great find of the blue bottle!
    ​"It was foolish of her not to have bought a larger bottle."

    Dorothy Eden, The Time of the Dragon

  12. #12

    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Quote Originally Posted by Aitchellsmell View Post
    HOLY SMITERS!!!! I haven't checked this thread in awhile; came here tonight and......you FOUND IT!!!! Kotori, you are truly a top-shelf cheese melt!! Thank you so much for your stellar sleuthing. Gads, I can't believe how great it is to see the picture. Where in the world did you dig it up from? Just seeing it, I get a full-on scent memory. I'm just going to stare at the bottle for a bit now and reminisce....
    Top-shelf cheese melt! I’m going to use that! That’s hilarious right there. I believe I did a search of Quelques Fleurs in Google Images. Took a lot of scrolling as I recall. I hope you can eventually find it to buy. You never really know what will turn up on eBay and the like.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.

  13. #13
    Basenotes Member Aitchellsmell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Thanks again, Kotori. I had also searched Google images, but nothing ever surfaced for me; I'll be randomly perusing different sites to see if any ever shows up for sale...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Quote Originally Posted by Oriane View Post
    OP, you may also wish to post this question on the vintages forum on Fragrantica. In addition to grayspoole, there are several other very knowledgeable members there who are always willing to help, e.g. fetishforperfume, Crickett77, and hadas to name just three.
    What's wrong with posting in the Vintages Forum at Basenotes???

    In fact, better still, I can move the thread to the Vintage Forum if OP wishes to.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Quote Originally Posted by rum View Post
    What's wrong with posting in the Vintages Forum at Basenotes???
    Nothing wrong with posting on BN.
    Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them, or fought them.

    Gregory David Roberts

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Just have to say, that was some amazingly swift sleuthing! I'm impressed!
    Currently wearing: Mitsouko by Guerlain

  17. #17
    Super Member grayspoole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Hello again Aitchellsmell--

    While you're searching for that elusive blue atomizer, don't overlook the splash bottles of vintage Quelque Fleurs, which are more frequently available. Mine looks like this, and I have decanted some of it into a nice glass atomizer. It lasts all day.

    34xfg4z.jpg

  18. #18
    Basenotes Member Aitchellsmell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    Good idea, grayspoole. Definitely worth a look!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Mysterious Vintage Houbigant

    The clear bottle posted by grayspoole goes back earlier than the blue one and was used for many decades.
    ​"It was foolish of her not to have bought a larger bottle."

    Dorothy Eden, The Time of the Dragon

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