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The late Mr. Leonard Talys - at the NAAC Covention June 1972 
The late Mr. Leonard Talys at the National Association of Avon Collectors Annual Convention
June 1972

I have great appreciation for, and give heartfelt thanks to, many folks that have made my California Perfume Company collecting possible and enjoyable!

First and foremost is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without him, I would have nothing. I could do nothing. And I certainly wouldn't be where I am today. I cannot imagine a moment wherein Jesus is not the focal point of my life. He is my Hope, my Deliverer, and my Redeemer, my Savior!

Secondly, I want to express my appreciation for my wife Cindy! She puts up with soooooo much, especially when she sees me around California Perfume Company items or looking (obsessively) on e-Bay and then she hears the fateful call, "Dear, come look at this for a second..." to which she responds, "Now what?!?!" After more than 30 years of marriage, I can easily say, and firmly attest, that I love my wife more today than I did yesterday, or any day before. I thank the Lord my God for this precious lady. She is such a blessing to me!

There are two others for whom I would like to express my appreciation: Mr. Bud Hastin and the late Mr. Leonard Talys. Mr. Bud Hastin, the author and publisher of the Bud Hastin Avon Collecting Encyclopedias, allowed me to purchase a large portion of his paper collection back in 1985—wow, over a quarter-century ago! This opportunity transitioned my Avon-collecting focus from Avons to CPCs (though at that time, I couldn't really afford to play with the big boys since CPCs were VERY expensive.) Over the years, Bud has remained an inspiration and a friend. Lastly, I would like to express a special thank you for a gentleman that is no longer with us: Mr. Leonard Talys. Lenny helped to start my CPC collection. He was always a gentleman and he graciously opened his home to my wife and I on several occasions. I really liked Lenny and I am so sorry that he is now gone. He was an inspiration to me as a young, novice collector. And I will always consider him my friend. Note: This picture of Lenny was found in the Avon archives at the Hagley Museum and Library...forever remembered by Avon!

SPOTLIGHT on Collectors: Ms. Marie Barron

The California Perfume Company web site wishes to honor the many, diverse CPC and Avon collectors around the world! It is their deep-felt passion that continuously breathes life and inspiration into this amazing hobby!

Our first tribute to collectors recognizes Ms. Marie Barron from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Marie shared with me the following:

My love affair with CPC and Avon products began with the purchase of several Avon decanters at a yard sale. They were ideal collectibles—pocket sized, pretty, and inexpensive. With interest piqued, I purchased a copy of Bud Hastin’s Avon Collector’s encyclopedia, (18th edition), and began to focus on specific categories of my new hobby. I have had tremendous fun collecting multiple items in the extensive Cape Cod (ruby red) dinnerware line; mostly e-Bay transactions. The elegant Mrs. Albee porcelain figurines are another favorite, particularly the diminutive blue and white “First Lady”, 1976. (I would eventually like to add Mrs. Albee (England), 1978, to my collection.)

Earlier this year, my Avon collection received an appreciable boost with the addition of rarer perfume sets from the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s, most of them in mint boxed condition. A favorite Avon “Perfection” purchase is an unusual cardboard packaged Flavoring Set (“unusual” in that most of these sets were housed in metal tins). Specific items from Quaintance, Elegante, Happy Hours, Here’s My Heart, Topaz and Cotillion (the “work horse” of its era, evidently) hold great allure for me as well.

Over the past year I have done a lot of research into the history and the product offerings of the California Perfume Company (thanks to the excellent resources available on the California Perfume Company website) and where I might find them. Some of my favorite pieces include atomizer boxed sets, a series of American Ideal products, Natoma Rose items, Daphne Septette Gift Box, Jack and Jill tin, w/full contents, tins and tooth tablets. With the exception of powder sachets, I am interested in any CPC product that is in reasonable condition. Early Perfection products are desirable, including Perfection Recipe Book—1920 only. Dr. Zabriskie soap (MB) and Gertrude Recordon are also of interest.

//Update from Marie// I had the pleasure of visiting Russell Mills and his wife Cindy, at their home near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania this summer (2012), a 9 hour drive from my home in Toronto, Canada. I was looking forward to meeting the author of the wonderful California Perfume Company website that I had been studying, viewing his amazing collection, and learning as much as I could about our hobby “from the expert”. Rusty’s vast knowledge of the early history of the California Perfume Company, (and its later transition to Avon), is impressive and comprehensive. He has included in his website, a wide array of rare and historical data, enhancing the reader’s understanding of the specialized and diverse nature of the business. Any collector will enjoy the hundreds of photos, renderings, and product descriptions of CPC’s in existence. Check them out! I would like to extend a big thank you to Rusty and Cindy for their warm hospitality during our visit. I look forward to your friendship and trusted advice as my hobby evolves.

Marie Barron Smith
Toronto, Canada

Please feel free to contact Marie at mariebarron (at)

Following are some excellent pictures of Marie's quickly expanding CPC and Avon collection:

Marie's CPC Collection - 2012
CPC Treasures in Marie's Collection

Marie's CPC Collection - 2012
CPC Perfumes and Sets

Marie's CPC Collection - 2012
More CPC and Avon Collectibles

Marie's CPC Collection - 2012
More Avon and CPC Collectibles

Marie's CPC Collection - 2012
More Avon and CPC Collectibles

I want to express my appreciation for Marie sharing her story and pictures of her beautiful collection. Her zeal for collecting is nothing short of phenomenal! She definitely represents the future of this hobby!

Happy hunting!

Thank you to Mr. Richard Pardini!

Mr. Richard Pardini posing in front of his CPC collection 
Mr. Richard Pardini standing next to a cabinet full of extremely rare
California Perfume Company and Goetting & Co., NY items
~May, 7 2008

I want to extend such a special, warm thank you to this precious man and his entire family for inviting me and my wife, Cindy, into his home, sharing a superb meal with us, and conversing for many wonderful hours on CPC, Goetting, and Avon collecting. Richard (Dick) not only opened his home, but his collection provided excellent pictures of some of the rarest CPC items that are now included on the CPC web site. Dick, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

A Tribute to My Friend Mr. Richard Pardini

Thank you to Mr. George Gaspar!

Rusty and George - 2012
George Gaspar (R) and Rusty Mills (L) During George's Visit to Rusty and Cindy's Home (2012)
~September 2012

To George I want to extend a super big thank you!

I wanted to express my heartfelt appreciation for all you've done over the years to make this web site a huge success. You willingly opened your home to Cindy and I multiple times over the years. You have allowed us access to your extraordinary CPC and Avon collection to take photographs and scans of so many beautiful bottles and tins, unique (often one-of-a-kind) CPC and Avon treasures, and rare, informative documents. Around 500 pictures within the CPC web site hail from your collection. Unmistakably, all of these wonderful items served to build this web site into what it is today: the premier California Perfume Company and early-Avon collecting information resource.

I look forward to a strong partnership in the years to come that will further CPC and Avon collecting and continue to build on this web site!  

Awarded "Most Educational" at the FOHBC 2008 Expo!

The weekend of 7-10 August, 2008 represented a true "Red Letter" day for Rusty and Cindy Mills! Not only was this the first and only time that we ventured out and displayed a fair portion of our CPC and Early-Avon collection at a bottle show, this gala event ended up with our winning the "Most Educational" display honors! [read more and see the pictures...]

A Note from the Web Author:

It is my sincere hope that this extensive web site will continue to grow and grow and serve the collector community as well as casual reader for a very long time to come. I know that this project can not prosper having only one contributor. The true success of the California Perfume Company web site—as in the case of the original company—must come from the contributions of many dedicated people around this great country and throughout the world. The Vision Statement clearly states my desire for this site to become a virtual California Perfume Company, how can you help?

   - Provide constructive criticism and thoughtful suggestions;

   - Provide high-quality color pictures of CPC items to be used on the site; send photos to: george (at);

   - Provide information and stories about the CP Company and its people. I ask that the information be accompanied with some form of verification (where feasibly possible);

   - List items you have for sale or that you would like to acquire in the CPC to Sell and CPC Wanted pages;

   - Promote the site to others; and

   - Most of all, HAVE FUN and ENJOY THE SITE!

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