The last time I did this, I ended up getting vintage bottles of Eau de Joy, Hermes Caleche, and Shalimar Eau de Cologne for $50. The Joy I sometimes wear. The Caleche I swapped away. The Shalimar I still have, but the bottle is sealed. I'll probably sell it at some point. It looks like the oldest of the bunch by far. Today, I did the search again, and saw that someone near my apartment was selling a handful of perfumes, including a "huge" bottle of Yves Saint Laurent Y. From the picture, it was hard to tell what all the other bottles were, but I could see Aramis and Fendi among them. Y is a green chypre, meaning it's almost certainly been reformulated for the worse in the recent past. Aramis is a leather fragrance. Fendi is discontinued. She was selling the whole lot for $50. I figured if the Y and Fendi were in good condition, it would be well worth the cost and the trip, so I made an appointment.
We met in the lobby of the woman's high-rise. I asked if the perfumes were hers. She said yes, but she was moving and only wanted to keep a couple. She pulled them out of a grocery bag and lined them up on a table. I laughed. The bottle of Y was beyond huge. It must have been a display factice -- it looked like about 1,000 ml. The cap was broken so she'd corked the bottle. I was worried about the condition but it smells fantastic. Ditto for the Fendi (which is similar to Theorema, but much brighter in color, more floral, and a little fruity ... kind of carnation pumpkin pie, with a leather undertone) and the Aramis, which looks newer but not brand new, and will smell terrific on John. I also got a little spray mini of Amarige. I left three bottles behind (Caesars Woman and two things I'd never heard of) and gave her $45 for the rest. Pretty good haul!
I am now the proud owner of a truly obscene amount of YSL Y of uncertain vintage. Here's Luca Turin's description of it:
This is the archetypal green chypre, fresh, scrubbed, prim and proper, made of excellent raw materials, with the slightly screechy feel of silk-clad thighs rubbing together. If this were an actress, it would be Danielle Darrieux. If it were a wine it would be a Chablis. If it were a car it would be a vanilla-yellow convertible Citroen DS. If it were a piece of music it would be the theme of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.
Chypre lovers, please let me know you'd like a taste.