Red Lilac Perfume and Toilet Water Spray Mist (Lenthéric)

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't think to style myself a completist when it comes to perfume. I don't harbor obsessions about owning every single fragrance by any single house; odds are they won't all be to my taste, so why bother? But recently I edged just a bit closer to peril with the acquisition of two vintage Lenthérics, bringing my total collection to six. SIX!

You see, every time I stopped by the Point Pavilion Antique Center over the course of the last six years, I kept spotting these two boxed flacons of 1958's Red Lilac. Cheap as they were, they simply wouldn't budge for love or money. As evidence of their lack of desirability, they'd been banished from a locked vitrine to a lonely shoebox on the floor. (Maybe the owners hoped someone would steal them.) Soon they'd be foisted as a "free gift with purchase" on an unsuspecting consumer-- a humiliating fate.

Look, I know I didn't want or need them. I felt sorry for them-- that's the truth. I simply couldn't watch them languish in the antique store equivalent of a Siberian gulag. So I shelled out eight bucks to bring them both home.

What was my reward for rescuing them? Well, the toilet water "mist" is pretty ghastly, with a nasty gasoline-fume quality attributable to old propellant. I know for sure I'll never wear it. The EdP is sweet, flowery, and classic in its columnar Art Deco splash bottle-- not at all unpleasant, yet not quite what I'd ever choose for my own use.

Most likely I'll only ever hold on to these two as reference samples. Yet I have no regrets. These Lenthérics are safe with me.

Scent Elements: Lilac, plus maybe some opopanax.