I have been looking for vintage perfume bottles since a decoration of decorated antique fragrance and snuff bottles on display at LACMA ignited the flames of desire. Wearable scented jewelry hybrids trace back to Ancient Egypt and were ubiquitous throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries when fragrance was seen as a hygienic imperative, not just a decadent elixir. I find that besides being a classic, old world and a rather formidable way to carry your scent around (wrapped in fine jewelry), there is something talismanic that happens when dispose of your fragrance in a vial and deprive it of its trademark. and transform it into something much more personal.
Fortunately, I found beautiful Mexican silver vials at fragrances, flea markets, and vintage stores (then scurried to find microscopic chemistry funnels for transfer). Etsy also has a dizzying selection of old and new finds, which sometimes lamentably cross to the territory enfant awful peer: vials on chains meant to obstruct a drug of another kind. Many people collect the versions of Tiffany & Co.: hanger vessels shaped like round barrels, scallops and of course, a heart. But recently, while designer Andrea Vargas Dieppa's Monolito stumbled on Instagram, I've had a cramp of pleasure: square to square large, yet portable sculptures that give a distinctly modern version of the historical memory . If I am going to use that tradition in the 21st century, I will do so with these daring future heirlooms: dice-like pile of silver cubes meant to be worn as a ring, or gold orbs hanging together, hanging on the & # 39; a long cord.
If the designer's name sounds familiar, it's because Dieppa founded Dieppa Restrepo, a shoe line known for its delicious oxfords and loafers in luxury fabrics. Dieppa left three years ago and moved back to Bogotá, Colombia to work with her now-husband on the inside of a cocktail. She started Monolito, a great design studio based on the excitement of creating custom elements (monolito mean monolith or a rock in Spanish). After finding the highly skilled local artisans to create quilate accented sculpture tables and chairs, Dieppa simultaneously developed a prototype for a perfume craft inspired by the Pre-Colombian motifs. & # 39; At first, we did a very big bottle, but I noticed that one of the jewelry artists I worked with had all these little shapes, like cubes and spoons for spoons, so I said, let's make it in miniature, & # 39; explains Dieppa with reference to her lifelong obsession with collecting miniature items. It takes about 15 hours to make each vial and contains 5-7 ml of flavor when filled. For reference: & # 39; A sample bottle tester already in your Dop Kit contains 1-2 ml.
The Monolito vials, in precious metals, are not a buying impulse, but are refillable and have a small funnel. Also interesting, they come pre-filled with a custom scent called Shandy Shandy, the result of a collaboration between Dieppa and French master perfumer Barnabé Fillion. If you're going to take a chance on a new scent without smelling it elsewhere, you want it to be at the same nose behind Aesop Hwyl and Marrakech Intense scents, Le Labo's Geranium 30and Paul Smith's portrait. Shandy Shandy is tempting in a way reminiscent of the best of Aesop's signatures: tasteful and herbal with a warm ambery base, and a woody incense of the most compelling variety. The herb quality is top-notch and pepper (a very clear and beautiful note) and the ambrosial base comes from incense and myrrh. I came to the vial, but I stayed for the scent.
Monolito vials were designed with & # 39; an & # 39; ominous spirit & # 39 ;, as Dieppa says, "no one will guess that something is inside." As you carefully loosen the adjacent pieces, the top has a pointed metal applicator, which then pushes you into the skin wherever you want. . So the scent does not throw or announce itself (as it would if it was badly rubbed); it resounds on the skin like an intimate secret, only heightened by the fact that you watch a bit at a time.
Dieppa also points out that it is very practical if they are sustainable and reusable. & # 39; You can take your favorite fragrance anywhere in the air, even on an airplane. Mine (in alpaca silver) doesn't even sound off the metal detector. & # 39; The vials can be cleaned between flavors by rubbing alcohol several times. I can't stress enough how good a chance it is Shandy Shandy would be: your new secret potion. Then fill up with you again Tam Dao, you Molecule 01, or even the peppermint eucalyptus blend that your sinuses have relied on all winter (I'm looking at you, Olbas).
Photos via Monolito and the author.