Part of my pleasure in perfumes comes from an attractive bottle – something that’s very subjective. At the end of our last perfume post, I loved the quirky sci-fi design of one perfume bottle, Womanity, while other people just found it bizarre. Right now my everyday perfume is something called “Woman in Rose”. It’s a light green-tinged floral, like someone rolled fresh leaves and scented rose petals and a hint of musk together and summoned The Perfume Fairy to make it last. But the bottle is a clunker.
Luckily, I can just decant it into another bottle. I could use a practical, shiny new bottle, as recommended in the link. Or one of my favorite things, a vintage atomizer or bottle!
It can be challenging to find these – “boudoir” items from the dressing table are now a vintage/antique collector category, one that’s getting more popular. But one day in downtown Wellington I saw a sign in a foyer for a vintage and jewelry shop, The Retro Room. I like exploring. Hidden stores in old buildings? Sign me up. After two flights of stairs, I was rewarded with a two-room vintage emporium that has great stash of vintage perfume bottles, atomizers, perfumes themselves, and makeup compacts. Naturally, The Retro Room has all kinds of retro goodness – I was impressed with their accessories in particular: shoes, purses, hats, jewellery all tempted. But with perfume on my mind I was struck by their strong perfume-related inventory.
The Retro Room has two locations in Wellington:
311 Willis Street (open regularly)
Room 27, Trade Union Building, 124 Vivien Street (open by appointment)
Both these places are on the second floor or higher, so walk into foyers and look up! Once a month they have a special late night for customers at the Vivien Street shop, complete with glasses of bubbly.
One of my favorite things about vintage atomizers is that sometimes the old perfume lingers in them. And then you add your perfume, and your scent gets a fascinating overlay. I adore this, but maybe you don’t. The Retro Room proprietor has the answer. She says, “Simply open the atomizer and rinse the bottle, using rubbing alcohol. Then let it dry.” This removes the previous scent. Brilliant!