UK Chapter

of the
International Perfume Bottle Association

A group for collectors of perfume bottles and perfume ephemera

Convention 2016 - October 15th and 16th, Leicester

The Holiday Inn


A successful convention in the now familiar surroundings of the
Holiday Inn in Leicester city centre.

Although the number of members attending was well down on last year (which included the American tourists), most of the usual conventioneers were present and they enjoyed the annual mix of socialising, entertainment and buying opportunities. Some regulars were unable to come this time and we missed their contributions to proceedings. These included Mike and Brenda Flowers, Ruth Warner, Gerda and Gilbert Marshall and Mary Robertson. We wish Gerda a speedy recovery from her back problems and hope to see her and Gilbert next year. We welcomed back Olwyn Hitchen after missing the last couple of years following a back injury.

Friday settled into an efficient and familiar routine with early arrivers helping with various setting up tasks - filling goody bags, sorting out raffle prizes and auction lots, decorating the room and grappling with the infamous glass display cases (not so much of a swear-fest this time!). Olwyn made an impact straight away by organising the usual very large raffle. The Hotel gave us access to the Leicestershire suite all day which was a big help. As has become tradition, the evening ended with dinner at a large table in the hotel restaurant.

Early Saturday passed in a blur of last minute details; adding more raffle prizes and goody bag items as they arrived, decorating the room, sorting out the technology and setting up the Saville display cabinet. Phyllis opened the convention and welcomed everybody to our 16th convention and to the 5th annual IPBA Day. Jeffrey Sanfilippo, IPBA President, sent a short salutation video to mark the day. The meeting paused briefly to remember Nancy Whitaker, a long standing and respected member of the perfume world who passed away on August 28th. Several members spoke of her friendship and how much she will be missed.

Our first speaker was local Leicester member Mohammed Jamal who is a second generation attar perfumer. Mo is on a mission to create natural and ethical perfumes and he gave a fascinating description of his quest to find and use artisan craftsmen in his perfumes and bottles.

We then watched a French documentary with subtitles "Perfume, a certain tradition" which featured interviews with several well known names in the perfume world. George Stam appeared in the film with a passionate piece about his large and exquisite collection of flacons.

After lunch, our keynote speaker was Terri Colledge who described the techniques that she uses to create wonderful works of art in glass armed with tools such as dentists drills! Terri displayed several examples of her work and everyone was very impressed by them.

Susan Arthur was our next speaker, live by Skype from her home in New Jersey. Susan is closely involved in the preparations for the 2017 IPBA convention in nearby Princeton in early May and she told us about the arrangements including group visits before the convention.

We had asked Ken Leach who has organised the last few IPBA auctions to visit and tell us about the auctions and auctioneering in general but he was unable to come. Instead he prepared a slideshow of the significant lots from the last few auctions and showing the amounts realised. Many of these drew oohs and aahs from the audience but unfortunately nobody could claim that they had any of the bottles shown.

That marked the end of the afternoon session and there was a break before the evening meal. After the tasty buffet dinner the delegates raffle was won by Connie Williams. Chris Hipkiss did his usual entertaining fund raising extortion by auction and a considerable amount was raised.

On Sunday our ten dealers set up in the Leicestershire suite and although footfall was low everybody seemed to enjoy the day and even to take a satisfactory amount! The wholesale market between dealers appeared to be at least as active as the retail one.

The raffle drawing team, Phyllis, Olwyn and Chris, got underway mid afternoon and efficiently despatched over 50 lots to lucky winners. None more lucky than my brother Steve who won two of the prizes involving drinkable alcohol.

The convention drew to a close with lots of appreciative comments and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. The Hotel was generally acclaimed as good again this year with plentiful and tasty food and attentive service.

We must say a big thank you to everybody that contributed in so many ways to the weekend, from helping with setting up to supplying things for the goody bags - which were one of the fullest and best quality that we have had - and very generous raffle and auction items. In particular, Gerda, Paula, Phyllis and Ollie provided many items in all three categories and Mohammed Jamal provided samples of all four of his perfumes for the goody bags.

And so to 2017. Elsewhere in this edition there are notes to help you shape next years convention by finding and researching venues around the country. If we keep to the same time of the year, the dates for next year will October 14th and 15th. I hope to see you then!

Terry Emmony

UK Chapter of the IPBA       Convention Organiser: Terry 0116 2478776 or 07714 671234, email terry@ipba-uk.co.uk