Collector’s Corner: Arpege Atomizer


Yet another item “borrowed” from my mother many years ago. Can you tell I loved to snoop around her fragrance collection when I was a child? This atomizer, while miniature, was meant for the dresser top or vanity. It features the standard atomizer “balloon” that, when squeezed, dispensed the perfume. The tube inside is made of a ribbon-like fabric, shaped into a tube, rather than today’s sturdier plastic tubing. The drawback to this material is that the fabric tube has flattened out over the years so that it no longer holds the perfume to be dispensed. But the atomizer, while simple, typifies the elegance of French perfume of the Fifties and Sixties. The body features Lanvin’s Arpege logo of a mother and child.

Arpege was introduced by fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin of the House of Lanvin in 1927. Arpege (arpeggio) was named for her daughter Marie Blanche, an accomplished musician. Arpege is still manufactured today, although it’s easier to find online than in stores. This atomizer most likely came as an accompaniment to a stopper-top bottle of Arpege (probably the one that sat on my mother’s dresser). While that bottle is long gone, the atomizer retains a very subtle hint of the fragrance that it used to contain. I treasure it now as another piece of perfume history, of the days when fragrance containers were as chic and glamorous as the perfumes they contained.

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