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Antique Glass Perfume Bottles

Antique perfume bottles vary in size, shape, and color. Perfume bottles were made as early as the pre-Egyptian period. Many collectors seek vintage and antique glass perfume bottles made by glass manufacturers during the 19th and 20th centuries.

How do antique glass perfume bottles work?

A glass bottle protects the perfume from sunlight and air, preventing the contents from losing its scent and becoming less potent over time. A colored bottle helps to further protect the perfume. The bottle can be designed to dispense its contents in a variety of ways. Some perfume bottles have a glass stopper that's shaped to fit into the neck of the perfume bottle. The user applies perfume by dabbing the glass stopper directly onto the skin. An atomizer sprays the scent across the skin. Traditional perfume bottles can have a decorative atomizer attached to the bottle. This type of atomizer has a rubber ball that is squeezed to release the perfume. A spray pump is also an atomizer. Roll-on closures are a more recent invention and can indicate a vintage item. A roll-on perfume bottle is turned over, and the ball mechanism is rolled across the skin.

Which perfume bottles are collectible?

An antique or vintage perfume bottle collection can contain whatever the collector wishes. Some buyers will purchase a bottle with a particular era or manufacturer in mind. Other buyers may collect a bottle for its art, age, history, or glass color.

  • Pressed and cut-glass bottles are popular antique and vintage perfume bottle collectibles.
  • Art Nouveau and Victorian perfume bottles are sought after by collectors. Victorian glass perfume bottles have rich jewel tone colors. An Art Nouveau bottle can display intricate flower, insect, and animal patterns.
  • Original Lalique perfume bottles are always desirable. Lalique created perfume containers for the Coty company. Vintage Lalique collectibles also include empty glass perfume bottles that can be filled with any perfume.
How do you identify a vintage and antique perfume bottles?

An antique bottle will be at least 100 years old. A vintage perfume bottle can be anywhere 50 to 100 years old. Antique and vintage items can include hand-blown and machine-made glass. Ways to identify vintage and antique perfume bottles are:

  • Look for marks and labels on the bottom of the glass bottle. Antique and vintage glass bottles can be dated by the manufacturer's symbols.
  • Research the decorative elements of the bottle to pinpoint the time frame in which the glass was made. Flower and decorative patterns can vary in subject matter over time.
  • Read the labels carefully. The text on a perfume bottle or box could eliminate it as a vintage item. For example, a bottle or box using the word hypoallergenic indicates a manufacturing date of 1975 to the present.
  • Find vintage perfume advertisements. Vintage magazine ads are often dated, and that makes it easy to compare your bottle with the one in the ad.
  • Study the glass and perfume makers of the time period you're collecting. A vintage or antique bottle is most likely made by a specific glass company for a perfume company. Perfume companies often select a particular container shape for their perfume products.
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