Friday, December 1, 2023

Thoroughbred by John Henry c1985

Thoroughbred by John Henry was brought out for fall 1985.

Thoroughbred was inspired by a horse, owned by John Henry, who won the racing industry's 1984 Horse of the Year and first horse ever to win more than $6 million in purses.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Jean-Louis Scherrer by Parfums Jean-Louis Scherrer c1979

Jean-Louis Scherrer by Parfums Jean-Louis Scherrer: Launched in 1979 in association with Uniperf Inc of New York. The fragrance was in the USA by 1983. Also known as Scherrer and Scherrer I.

The fragrance was created by perfumer Josette Ramisse at IFF.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Plant Spirits Splashing Waters by Origins c1992

Estee Lauder's Origins Natural Resources Inc, the all-natural cosmetics and skin care line, introduced "Plant Spirits Splashing Waters" in 1992, which according to press materials, are "fragrance, mood -altering splashes for the body" that "sneak into your subconscious to lift your outlook, quietly alter your vision of yourself and the world around you. Only you are aware that you are wearing them." The group of scents used light, and soothing natural essences that promised not to overwhelm. 

Daria Myers, a marketing vice president at Origins at the time said that the company did a round of market research and it showed that their customers used many unscented products, and "that type of person doesn't like a heavy fragrance, either." She added that "It said a much greater number of women wear fragrance to please themselves, instead of to please a man, which is how it was in the 80s."

Myers explained that the Plant Spirits Splashing Waters were "designed to be doused all over. You can wear them head to toe because they aren't overpowering." 

Four scents were available:

  • Spirits of the Forest had notes of woody oils.
  • Spirits of the Night had notes of spicy cinnamon, patchouli and cloves.
  • Spirits of the Sun had a warm herbal scent.
  • Spirits of the Gardens had notes of fresh cut jasmine, violet and leaf geranium

Today, all of these are very hard to find. I don't even have an image to add to this article.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Antique Enameled Metal Boxes & Scent Bottles

 Enameled Metal Patch Boxes and Scent Bottles:

Some of my favorite type of patch boxes and scent bottles are those made up of enameled copper. The technique of painting with enamels to simulate the finish on Continental porcelain was introduced to England by French artisans. The boxes can be found either in square or oval shapes, though round and unusual shapes do occur. Bottles can be found in cylindrical, egg, round or oval shapes. Some have been misattributed as needlecases or snuff boxes or bottles. Germany, France and Britain all made similar looking patch boxes and scent flacons. The French, during the reign of the Louis and Napoleonic period, had boxes and flacons of such exquisite workmanship that they are now represented in the Metropolitan and other famous museums. 

The English boxes however, have found their way into many private collections, and the best known of these are the "Battersea" enamels. Several other English firms made similar painted enamels, but no other enamel had the quality of Battersea. The Battersea firm only worked from about 1750 to about 1756 when they went into bankruptcy. It is said that enameling at Bilston began when a number of French craftsmen fled France in the 1750s due to religious persecution. York House in Battersea is synonymous with English enameling on copper; only open for three years (closing in 1756). Antique authorities explain that the term "Battersea" has come to be a general descriptive term for the "printed, enamel on metal" method employed at the Battersea factory in London. A copper base was used, covered with soft white enamel, which gave a fine surface for decoration by hand or transfer process on the high glaze. The English patch boxes known as Battersea, Bilston or Staffordshire enamels, had a small tin or polished steel mirror affixed inside the lid. 

The French artists who worked at the Battersea factory painted the dainty love scenes and the landscapes on exquisitely finished pieces. During the first period, the decoration was done by hand. A French engraver named Revenet evolved the idea of transfer printing, then an unknown art in England, and produced some of the most interesting products of the Battersea factory. Some of these beautiful works of art included the well known portrait enamels, which were transfer printed entirely. King George II, George III, Queen Charlotte, Frederick, Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cumberland, Peter the Great, Frederick, King of Prussia, the Young Pretender, the beautiful Miss Gunnings, Pitt, and Horace Walpole. Revenet was noted for the refinement of his work as a copper plate engraver, he also worked in the Chelsea pottery. He died in 1774. 

Boxes were decorated with landscapes, fluttering birds, flowers, romantic scenes of figures, vases, foliage, shells, beehives, cherubs, birdcages, and even animals such as lambs or dogs. Some of the more interesting boxes had portraits of celebrated characters of the Georgian period. Specimens of the old Battersea boxes often had a peculiar shade of rose or pink colored enamel and feature small painted flowers and delicate gilt borders. The enamels were worked in colors of purple, grassy shade of green, rose, deep green, white, gray, turquoise blue and orange.

One of the humorous themes shows a pair of coach horses rearing, with the resultant spilling of passengers and baggage in all directions. 

Bilston boxes were of a slightly inferior quality to the Battersea examples and often had yellow, blue, pink, green, white and other colors enameled on copper. Subjects included fruit, figures, landscapes and other motifs coarsely painted, but still pretty.

In 1911, a newspaper article mentioned that "Enamels on metal masquerading as Limoges, Dresden, Battersea and Bilston plaques, etuis, snuff and patch boxes are being manufactured in enormous quantities on the Continent and also in England. Reproductions of these enamels form a large proportion of the output of the house of Samson in Paris. These latter are now marked with two S's, a long one and a short one crossed. Limoges plaques are being imitated at several factories and some of them are such close copies of actual examples that they are difficult to detect. We know no infallible tests which can be applied to them, but the modern copies are as a rule fresher and brighter in appearance then the genuine. The snuff boxes and tiny patch boxes of Battersea and Bilston are being produced in great numbers. The painting and gilding of the forgeries are poor in quality and can readily be distinguished by comparison and undoubted examples. Frequently the metal rims by which the lids are attached to the boxes have been artificially colored and the fresh glue which has been pressed out has not been entirely removed. The old Bilston patch boxes, which frequently bear a motto or inscription, are usually provided with mirrors in the design of the lid. the glass is of poor quality and the silvering tarnished. When this looking glass appears fresh and bright is it of recent manufacture."

The examples of the Battersea craft no doubt will appeal to anyone attuned to the delicate, the whimsical and the pull of days gone by and would be enchanted with them. Beside the decorativeness of tiny hinges and fasteners, the thoroughness that causes an artist to decorate interior as well as exterior, there is the added attraction of quaint mottoes.

Being often used as special love tokens, given by lovers to their ladies, many of these objects bear charming mottoes. Battersea Staffordshire enameled boxes often have wonderful little mottos and phrases of love or friendship, some boxes were given as engagement or wedding presents, popular phrases in English were:
  • "A Present from Me"
  • "Love Me and Leave Me Not"
  • "A Friend's Gift"
  • "A Pledge of Love"
  • "A Token of Regard"
  • "If You Love Me Don't Deceive Me"
  • "Who Opens This Must Have a Kiss"
  • "I Love Too Well to Kiss and Tell"
  • "All is Not Gold That Glitters"
  • "Esteem the Giver"
  • "The Gift of a Friend"
  • "Take This For A Kiss"
  • "May We Join Hands in Hymen's Hands"
  • "Free To A Friend, I'd Give As Lend"
  • "This And My Hand, Are At Thy Command"
  • "A Mother's Gift To A Deserving Child"
  • "Long May You Live and Be Happy"
  • "May We Be Happy"
  • "Joined by Friendship, Crowned With Love"
  • "Let Us Agree And Wedded Be"
  • "Nothing Is Too Good For My Loved One"
  • "The Taste of Love is Delicious"
  • "No Pleasure Away From You"
  • "To My Love"
  • "Think Of Me"

Others referred to the original reason for the patch box and had mottos such as:
  • "For Beauty's Face"
  • "To the Fairest of Her Sex"
  • "When Virtue Joins, Fair Beauty Shines"

Many of the phrases were in French. Romantic sentiments were taken from the objects they adorned, such as a patch box resembling a basket of fruit with the inscription "L'amour les a Cueilli pour la plus Belle' ('Love Picked them for the Most Beautiful". Other romantic French inscriptions included:

  • "Je suis votre captive" (I am your captive)
  • "Gage de mon amour" (Pledge of my love)
  • "Imitez Nous" (Imitate us)
  • "Pour L'Honneur et L'Amour" (For love and honor)
  • "Je Blesse mais J'Attache" (I wound but I attach)

Less common were the boxes with mourning or memorial motifs such as urns, wreaths, weeping willows, doves, skulls, and other memento mori. Mottos such as

  • "Absent Not Forgotten"
  • "Remembrance of Friendship"
  • "Remember My Friend, All Things Have an End"
  • "Lay Hold on Time, While in Your Prime"
  • "In Remembrance of a Friend"
  • "As The Rose, So Is Life"

Occasionally one can find politically inspired boxes with celebrated English heroes such as Admiral Horatio Nelson were given tribute on many a patch box lid, sometimes followed with mottoes such as "Brittania Rules the Waves" and "British Gratitude". Royal Navy Officers Admiral Duncan and Lord Rodney have also been seen gracing the lid of a box.

Mottoes such as "May Lasting Peace and Trade Increase", "May War Ever Cease and Friendship Increase", and "Peace, Unity & Trade" helped bridge the gap during the Revolutionary War.

Ironically, fine pieces were made by the English to appeal to American tastes with mottos such as "Liberty & Independence", "May the Genius of Liberty, be Proof Against the Evils of Tyranny", "Great Washington To Thee, We Owe Our Liberty", or images of the American Bald Eagle, and war heroes General Lafayette or George Washington.

Very rare specimens inspired by the Wilberforce Anti Slavery movement in England feature the ongoing issue of slavery of African Americans, showing a chained slave and the words "Am I Not A Man and a Brother" and "Come Over and Help Us".

Others boxes are marked "souvenir" and generally have an image or name of the location.  Common phrases were:

  • "A Trifle from Hoxne"
  • "A Trifle from Brighton"
  • "A Trifle from Lewes"
  • "A Present from Worcester"

Today you can still find the exquisite enameled antique boxes thru auctions or individual websites. For those who are looking for a contemporary alternative, Staffordshire enameled boxes are made by Crummels and Halcyon Days.

Enameled Metal Scent Bottles & Boxes:

Scent bottles are as equally beautiful, if not more, magnificent in decor. The shapes are just as varied as mentioned previously but the workmanship can elevate a piece in both value and collectability. Unusual shapes were sedan chairs and gourds. The colorization of the enamels also varied from soft pastel shades, vibrant hues, deep jewel tones and monochromic black and white. Both hand painted and  transfer bat printed boxes were produced principally in Bilston or Wednesbury in South Staffordshire , in Birmingham and in Battersea in London .

Enamel boxes were the fashionable accessories of the Georgian era and their novelty and charm are almost as popular today as people give them as a keepsake for life's special moments. Bottles were embellished with exquisite raised enameling featuring ornate rococo scrolls known as rocailles and generally accompanied by sprigs of lush floral bouquets. Other decoration is figural, with plump little putti being favored subjects, as were "scene galante," courtship or bucolic pastoral scenes, no doubt a love token from an ardent lover or bridegroom. Portraits of famous or random persons can be found as well. Maternal scenes of a mother and child may have been a sentimental gift from a child to his mother. Neo-Classic motifs were also popular. 

Several of the cylindrical shaped bottles are actually holders, the real flacon being of crystal or glass and contained inside the enameled holder. During the 18th century, most of the enamel was mounted with ornate gilded bronze frames. Less expensive bottles were mounted with tooled copper. A good amount are fitted with hinges so they remind one of cigarette lighters. Sometimes the bottles are topped with matching stoppers while others may be fitted with sterling silver or even gold caps. Some bottles are affixed with a small chain ending in a gilt bronze stopper shaped like a plume while others may have loops so they can be suspended from chatelaines.  

You may even come across small lady's kits known as "necessaires" and "etuis." These are cases that were filled with a myriad of necessary items that a lady may need during the day. The cases could be found holding diminutive tools such as a thimble, folding scissors, hook, bodkin, file, awl/stiletto, thread spools, thread waxer, a folding ruler, a spoon, a pencil, tweezer, a toothpick, a single bladed knife, ear wax removal kit, a notecard, a scent bottle, a wind up tape measure, a needle or a vinaigrette. 


Others could be configured as a combination bonbonniere and scent bottle.

Some of them measure around 3.5" tall x 1" diameter. Approx. 3 1/2 inches tall and 1 inch in diameter. 

Fun novelties are the animal shaped boxes. A lovely South Staffordshire enamel dog scent bottle formed as a seated dog on a grassy mound, with metal mounts and inset glass eyes. 

Egg shaped boxes are often hinged in the center and were called nutmeg cases, they would have included a rasp or grater to grate the whole nutmeg into a powder. Nutmegs were very expensive during the 18th century, so cases were made to store them but also have them handy in the pocket. They were made in South Staffordshire.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Gianfranco Ferre by Gianfranco Ferre c1984

Gianfranco Ferre by Gianfranco Ferre: launched in 1984 in association with Diana de Silva with U.S. distribution through Alfin Fragrances .


This is not your average perfume blog. In each post, I present perfumes or companies as encyclopedic entries with as much facts and photos as I can add for easy reading and researching without all the extraneous fluff or puffery.

Please understand that this website is not affiliated with any of the perfume companies written about here in any way, it is only a reference page and repository of information for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

One of the goals of this website is to show the present owners of the various perfumes and cologne brands that are featured here how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back these fragrances!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the fragrance, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories, what it reminded you of, maybe a relative wore it, or you remembered seeing the bottle on their vanity table), who knows, perhaps someone from the company brand might see it.

Also, if you have any information not seen here, please comment and share with all of us.

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