How To Collect, Care For, And Display Perfume Bottles

Collecting antique perfume bottles can be simple or elaborate. Whether you are whimsical or serious in your search, it's always enjoyable.

Collecting and displaying antique perfume bottles can be an enjoyable hobby. There are many shapes, styles, sizes and colors of bottles just waiting to be discovered. So let's get started!

The earliest known perfume containers were found in Egypt. They were not made of glass but instead were fashioned out of stone materials. Glass perfume bottles appeared around the fifteenth century. It was fairly early on when makers began using brightly colored glass, thus beautifying a simply functional container. The bottles have evolved over the centuries and changed forms many times, shifting from geometric to graceful to stark and serious.

Collectors often have a preference for a particular type of bottle and choose to obtain only those types. A collection from the 1920's and 1930's might grace one collector's shelves, while another may find the bottles from the 1940's and 1950's more attractive. Some bottle enthusiasts might not be particular to a certain era but lean towards a certain color or shape, preferring the reds and oranges to the blues and greens, or the tall bottles to the short ones. Then again, some just acquire whatever strikes the eye. One can find bottles that are tall, short, chunky, elegant, old, new and in a rainbow of colors.



Begin by searching antique stores. Most storeowners can help you determine the age of the piece you are interested in, but there are also many books available on the market today. The Internet is also a wealth of information, so do a little research prior to heading out so you have a basic idea of what you're looking for. Garage or yard sales are also keepers of hidden treasures, as well as estate sales. And don't overlook thrift stores. They often have bottles at incredible prices, although you'll never be positive of the age or origin. However, if you are simply looking for a nice decanter to add to your collection, they are wonderful places to investigate in search of that perfect glass gem.

Think about where you'd like to display your finds and place bottles together to see if they go well together. Typically a mixture of sizes and shapes look the most appealing, however, if you are after a coordinating look, you can easily group several of the same size together. A windowsill, if safe from breezes, children and pets, is a very attractive place to group bottles together. The sun can shine in through the glass, casting bright bits of color around the room. (This idea is not the best if you have perfume in the bottle, as sunlight will break down the fragrance.) An assortment on an antique tray is a nice way to showcase your bottles. A recently renewed idea of displaying bottles is to tie a colorful ribbon around the neck of the bottle and hang them in varying lengths. A grouping in a bathroom is also a very appealing presentation, especially if paired with an antique hairbrush and mirror set.

No matter which way you choose to collect and display your antique perfume bottles, let your glass shine! Keep them clean, dry and dust-free so you can enjoy them for years to come.

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