“I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet…” — Irving Berlin (1933)
Whether you’re celebrating Easter this weekend or just getting in the mood to enjoy your spring wardrobe, here’s a vintage perfume presentation for you.
We might associate the Prince Matchabelli brand primarily (if not exclusively) with the perfume Wind Song (“I can’t seem to forget you…your Wind Song stays on my mind…”) but there really was a Prince Matchabelli, and his perfume house offered many other fragrances as well!
In 1948, Matchabelli offered an Easter gift set of two perfumes, Stradivari and Easter Lily, in a box shaped like a hat. Not just a hat — an Easter bonnet!
The set lent itself well to advertisements in newspapers published in cities across the United States.
Shea’s drugstore in Nyack, New York, for example, ran an ad (pictured above) with a single image of the “hat” opened up to reveal its “fragrance treasure.”
The color photo from eBay/Worthpoint, at the top of this post, shows that the hat was a shiny textured black cardboard and the ribbon was bright red. I love the detail of the black veiling.
This ad placed by Macy’s in the New York Daily News is larger and more richly illustrated with two views of the gift set and a photo of a model wearing a similar piece of millinery (in addition to pearls, lipstick, and elegantly shaped brows).
This photo from a fashion column in the Harrisburg Telegraph ran with the caption, “We give you Jean[ne] Tete’s life-size Easter Bonnet with Prince Matachabelli’s tiny one.”
Whatever hat or perfume you may be donning this weekend, I wish you happiness!