As far back as I can remember [1944-1946ish] Mother (Virginia Amy Lineberry) had the perfume bottle pictured on the left – it originally had a glass stopper. It has been in my possession for many years now – again, I’ve had it so long I no longer remember when she let me have it.
Though I don’t know if it was originally just an empty container to be filled with perfume or if it came with a perfume in it, I know it was a gift to Mother from Daddy [James Thomas Willis] for the perfume Tabu. Daddy apparently liked that fragrance and gave it to her off and on for many years. I assume Mother originally like the fragrance, but in later years she seemed to grow tired of it though, according to her, it remained Daddy’s choice for a perfume gift for many years. She also had the dusting powder to go with it.
The fragrance was originally created in 1932 by Jean Carles for Dana perfumes. At the right is an early ad for Tabu as “the forbidden fragrance.” It is described as, “…an elegant, oriental fragrance. This feminine scent possesses a blend of rich rose, orange blossom, jasmine, vetiver, oakmoss, amber and musk. Tabu is recommended for romantic use.” A later ad that utilized the same picture had the line: “and the night shall be filled with music.”
The Dana company moved from France to the United States in 1940 and the Tabu fragrance has continued to be available to the present time, though it is now mostly found as an inexpensive drugstore cologne.
Update December 2014: This item is now only a memory.