A HAMPSHIRE woman’s collection of more than 4,000 bottles of perfume by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier has emerged for sale.

Alexa Du Vivier’s stockpile of unused fragrances took over her two bedroom cottage in Lymington.

The late photographer began collecting in 2004 when she saw a Jean Paul Gaultier Classique perfume bottle at an airport duty free shop that reminded her of her childhood hero Madonna’s iconic cone bra which was also designed by him.

Belgian-born Alexa, who moved to Britain as a teenager, spent the next nine years amassing as many perfumes by the designer as possible along with other merchandise and even counter displays.

She bought the bottles at trade shows, via eBay and duty free shops before her death four years ago aged 56.

Now, her daughter Freya, has decided to part with the collection which was compiled at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.

It is tipped to sell for £10,000, although the auctioneer selling it said nothing of this nature has appeared on the market before so it may well fetch more when it goes under the hammer today.

Highlights include a large collection of Jean Paul Gaultier miniatures which are valued at £250 and nine unopened limited edition perfumes with an estimate of £200.

Other items are a set of shop displays for the purse and pocket sprays, a bath range with bottles, soaps and creams, and a cantilevered couture box.

Alexa’s daughter said she remembers spending countless hours in duty free shops at airports panicking that they might miss their flight as her mother trawled the shelves for new Jean Paul Gaultier items to bolster her burgeoning collection.

She said: “Initially mum intended on wearing the perfume but she never did.

“On researching the brand, she discovered just how many different designs had been brought out and she became hooked on collecting them all. “

Neil Shuttleworth, director at Special Auction Services, of Newbury, which is selling the collection, said: “This amazing collection was amassed over many years and painstakingly put together by the vendor’s mother.

“It comprises everything associated from point of sale and shop display items through to the Jean Paul Gautier perfume itself.

“I certainly hope the sweet smell of success is in the air for the vendor and I probably won’t see another collection like it.”

Madonna first performed in a pink cone bra corset in China, Japan, on April 13, 1990 - the first stop on her Blonde Ambition Tour.

It was created by Jean Paul Gaultier and first seen on his runway in 1982.