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A Dramedy - L'Heure Bleue and a Salad Spinner - share your tragedies and redemptions

So it finally happened to me - that beautiful Bottle of vintage L'Heure Bleue had arrived! (2.77 oz, Baccarat, WWII stamp, pristine label, and although unsealed, 2/3rds full of promising dark amber liquid). I ran to the mailbox as soon the "your item has been delivered" popped up on my phone. As I opened the mailbox I was hit square in the nose with those heady and familiar notes of LHB and knew immediately that it was a very bad sign. I felt both quizzical and perturbed when I saw that the small, fragrant box had bold red arrows drawn on all sides meant as a communication to the postal service to keep the box upright throughout the shipping process, as if that would ever happen. I rushed the ailing box inside and my heart leapt hopefully when I observed there was no staining on the outside of the package. Bracing myself I cut through the tape and lifted the lid to find layers upon layers of sticky caramel colored bubble wrap and packing tape. I worked as quickly as possible to free the bottle from its plastic shroud so I could assess how much of the precious juice had bled out and what damage had occurred. As I frantically pulled away the outer layers I felt the damp stickiness building on my hands as I hoped against hope that the bottle still held the better part of its vital fluid. When the last layer was pulled away and my now tacky, tawny hands reached into the final bag that contained the bottle I could see the blue-gray smear that had once been the iconic label, the stamp that was now a fairly uniform brown, and the amber liquid that was now less than half of what it should be.

First I cried a lot and mourned the loss, and then I washed my hands and emailed the seller, mostly about my sadness (I definitely mentioned the crying) and shock, but also my disbelief over the Saran Wrap and rubber band that was used to seal the bottle for packaging. Still sad a few hours later, I knew I had to deal with the corpse in the back room, and soon, as the air was so heavily scented that it was impossible to spend a great deal of time in the vicinity of the package. I just wasn't sure what to do. Nothing could be done about the ruined label or stamp - it would never be the bottle it once was. And the lost juice? Well, there was no getting that back ever again. But as I picked through the some places sticky and some places drippy bubble wrap I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away, figuring that it was saturated with about an ounce of L'Heure Bleue! Containment seemed to be important, so I put all that redolent plastic packing in a ziplock bag and went to bed.

The next morning it dawned on me that I hadn't actually lost all that perfume. All (or most of) that L'Heure Bleue was still there just waiting to be rescued. So I carefully unrolled the tortoise shell bubble wrap, removing those pieces that held remnants of the blue-gray ink and discarding the tape, and then set about methodically cutting into tiny bits the barely moist and aromatic packing material. I placed these precious bits in a glass bowl and stirred in about 2 ounces of alcohol, which was necessary to adequately wet all the plastic. It was so satisfying to see the alcohol take on the amber hue and familiar fragrance of the lost juice. Now that I had rather a lot of damp plastic, and after some poor results attempting to strain it and then wring it out by hand, I spied the salad spinner on the kitchen shelf. So in went the tiny bits, and about one minute vigorous of spinning reclaimed very close to 2 ounces of what I'm going to call L'Heure Bleue Redux EDT. It was quite clean and sparkly but I put it through a filter anyway and put it in another L'Heure Bleue bottle I have that isn't quite as beautiful as the one that was killed in the mail. I'm wearing my Redux right now and enjoying some vanilla in the dry down, and all told it has still held on to most of the lovely complexity that remains in the rest of the vintage juice. My Redux understandably is not not as strong at about 50% concentration of the donor, which was vintage and quite concentrated itself, so who really knows. I still mourn my loss, but I'm happy I have what I have.

I imagine that others might have stories similar to mine about the lengths they have gone to in salvaging a precious scent, or bottle, or about the ones that got away somehow and that they still mourn. Please share your stories-

This post first appeared on Grant Osborne, please read the originial post: here

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A Dramedy - L'Heure Bleue and a Salad Spinner - share your tragedies and redemptions


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