When you ask a collector of glass perfume bottles what it is that made them start to collect in the first place, there is a good chance you will be met with a variety of different answers. Some will talk about the sheer beauty of the vintage pieces, many of which can easily be deemed high art. Others will tell you how they love to look at the changes in the design and appearance of the bottles through the years, with many collectors able to pick out the age of a bottle just by how it looks. Perhaps the most interesting collector is the one who talks about the history and story behind each of the bottles they own.
For those people, it is not just all about a certain era or style of design, it is more about what the glass perfume bottles may have been through in the years since they were first so lovingly crafted. Some bottles will come with a story attached to them, but the best are often those that are shrouded with an air of mystery. These are the antiques that may be stumbled upon at a garage sale or in some small county store, tucked away, almost forgotten, behind curios and collections of bric-a-brac. When the dust is blown off those pieces and the glass sparkles once more, it is then that stories can emerge.
In those scenarios, it is up to the collector to imagine where the glass perfume bottles in their hand may have been before ending up in their current resting place. Does the bottle stretch back centuries to Victorian times, or did it spend it’s time on the cosmetics counter of a Hollywood starlet who would dab on a few drops of her favourite scent before stepping in front of the camera. There is often no way to know the full history of certain bottles, but it’s the imagining that is part of the thrill of collecting.
While some collectors will search high and low for glass perfume bottles from a certain era, there are others who are more than happy to have a variety of bottles from a number of different art movements. The beauty of collecting is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. There is beauty in every bottle, and only you, as a collector, can decide what criteria need to be met before a bottle is deemed worthy to be part of your collection.
When you spray perfume into the air, the scent will linger for a while before fading and being forgotten. The same can be said for the bottles that held that perfume, as they will retain that scent for a period of time after the last drop is gone. Eventually, though, all remnants of the scent will fade into the past, but the beauty of the glass perfumes that held it will remain constant. It is for that reason that glass perfume bottles continue to delight long after they have stopped being used as intended.