Sunday, October 4, 2009
Lalique, The Perfume Lingers
Back in the early 1980's, before Gary and I were married, I had a boyfriend who was a wholesale antique dealer. Several times a year he would go to Europe on buying trips. He'd bring furniture back to the United States and supply retail antique dealers with items for their stores. Before he left on one of his trips he said he'd be gone for quite a while, but promised he'd bring me some French perfume.
At the time my favorite perfume was Oscar, by Oscar de la Renta but I could only afford to wear the cologne. So I was really looking forward to receiving my gift of French perfume. After what seemed like a terribly long time, he came back to the United States and arrived at my home. We chatted for a while and then he handed me a wrapped gift in a box. The box was quite heavy and I thought it must be a large bottle of French perfume in a beautiful bottle.
I opened the wrapping paper and inside was a white box with the name Lalique printed on the front. Inside was another velvet coated box. In my naivete, I knew nothing about Lalique Art Glass, so the name didn't mean anything to me. I opened the velvet box and saw a small frosted glass powder jar with a molded nude female figure floating on the cover. I think I recall saying something about the gift not being perfume.
It was many years later I learned about Rene Lalique and by then the original box was long gone. There have only been a few times I wish I could change a small bit of the past and this is one of those times. As I reflect back I see I must have meant much more than a bottle of perfume to my boyfriend. I wish I could go back and say thank you for the wonderful Lalique powder jar, instead of my boyfriend seeing the disappointment, which I must have shown that day. This powder jar is a piece of modern Lalique art glass, but it's a treasure just the same, Lalique, the perfume lingers.