Sunday, November 16, 2008

Perfume: The Scent that keeps on giving...

Thanks to Flicker

I received an email asking me to provide more information on perfume bottles and since there are huge amounts of money to be made, if one finds that special bottle, then this is a worthy addition to our blog log.

Perfume containers date back to ancient times and I can even imagine Cleopatra using one. The scents that were used in early times came from natural ingredients such as rose petals and jasmine. Today's perfume is a combination of very sophisticated ingredients that tend to attract the other sex. I personally can't comprehend it, but some rare perfume today can command several thousand dollars per ounce.

As such, it is only logical that the containers that hold these exotic liquids would be equally expensive. Further, if you thought that many of the more expensive perfumes and their bottles came from France, you would be correct. The leading company that manufactured atomizers for perfume bottles was the DeVilbiss Company. This company started in 1888, but their most collected pieces were made from 1920 through 1969 when they ceased production. Therefore, if you find a perfume with a DeVilbiss atomizer, it can be dated no later than 1969.

One of the interesting facts about collecting certain perfume bottles is a word associated with them - it is the word “factice” which is term used for large display bottles used in stores to demonstrate its products for sale. These can be so large that it might take more than one person to move them. These bottles come in many different shapes and sizes in addition to the various materials used to produce them. Here is a short list just to give you a few examples of the materials used: agate, amber, cut glass, cameo glass, lapis, malachite and art glass. They may be decorated with gold, silver and many other ornamental decorations.

These perfume bottles usually aren't cheap but they are eagerly sought after by the collectors. If you have an item they desire, they usually aren't bashful about asking you to sell them. Even inexpensive models are desirable because there is nothing more interesting than a mirrored tray in a bathroom filled with beautiful bottles. My personal favorites are the early Lalique bottles.

It is time to tease your senses by listing a few of the perfume bottles that you should consider in your searches. Since Lalique is my favorite, lets look at a few of these first: Au Coeur Des Calices in blue brings more than $4,500, Ambre D' Orsay in purple should bring $2,500. Some of the rarest bottles by Lalique could command $25,000 or more. I own two Daum Nancy bottles that ended up on my wife's dresser tray, but if I listed them for sale, I think their value would be about $3,000 which is not bad for a $100 investment.

There are many books that list and price perfume bottles. Some can be purchased on and If you are serious about buying or collecting perfume bottles, I would suggest you obtain one of these guides.

I'm sorry that I'm posting this blog so late in the day but a busy day and other commitments interfered with my normal time frame.

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