Thursday, August 12, 2010

Savoir Faire in the Sac

I remember the first bottle of perfume that I had ever bought my mother. It was a bottle of Christian Dior’s Miss Dior Parfum in a little ‘atomiseur pour le sac”. When I was 16, my father had taken my younger brother and I to Hong Kong for a holiday, and it cost me the princely sum of $69 HKD which was about $11.50 AUD in 1978. I still have the bottle and the original box floating around somewhere, and it was exactly the same as the one pictured below.

I always think it is important whether you are a man or a woman to carry around some form of scent, for a little refresher during the day. The thing I don’t like is either having to carry around a full size bottle of cologne, or one of those tacky little sample vials that you receive gratis if you are lucky. Not only do you have to forsake your favourite scent and carry around a substitute, but invariably they get lost in the depths of your bag.

I like the idea of carrying around a little scent in a bottle or atomiseur specifically for that purpose. Major houses used to produce these ‘flacons pour le sac’ and every woman had one or two. Invariably they were paired down cylinders or replicas of the original flacon encased in a little fabric or leather pouch to protect them.

Lanvin pulled out all stops when it commissioned Cartier to design a little gold cylinder to encase their perfumes for the woman on the go. Simplicity within itself with its ribbed sides, Greek key design and Lanvin logo on the top.

Carven produced little ribbed glass cylinders, mimicking the stripes on the boxes, encased in green and white silk drawstring bags.

Bourjois for “Soir de Paris” added a black silk tassel to the bottom of their little midnight blue flacons, for an extra little bit of glamour.

Invariably these fell out of favour as time went on however Guerlain still produce little gold sprays as pictured below.
Missoni has issued these wonderful gold tone cylinders with silk tassels that give them the unmistakeable Missoni mark.

Chloe have done one better with this fabulous little leather carrying case for their perfume.

So, for some scented savoir faire on the go hunt these out and if they are vintage refill with your favourite perfume or cologne.


  1. I love this idea of smaller bottles for the day, too, David.

    I'm also feeling that stripey green box. Sorry, it's my wondering eye for colourful things...I just can't help it!

  2. My mother's favorite was Joy and my sister and I would save and buy her the smallest botlle each year for her birthday!

    I so agree with you...I wear fragrance nearly everyday...even when I am just staying home.

    I recall that I had one of these small refill vials once and loved it. Thanks for the lovely reminder to hunt one down!

  3. I love the idea of finding a vintage pretty. Right now my go to scent is Prada Amber and I don't think it comes in a smaller size....I resort to pouring mine in a small non-descript silver atomizer for travel. It would be so lux to find a pretty one to use instead.
    David, Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you back in my neck of the woods soon.

  4. I love that Cartier design for the lanvin bottles !

  5. Will, It is very sensible you know. The green and white stripes were pretty much Carven's trademark. So fresh!

    Acanthus, what a lovely story! I just recently bought the Lanvin one on ebay and it was very very reasonable. Good Hunting!

    Lissa, you are so welcome!

    Superglider, it is wonderful, as mentioned I recently purchased one and it is so nice in real life.

    Be sure to check out giveaway happening on Savoir Faire!


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