Bottled since the time of the Ancient Egyptians, perfume is a beautiful and feminine product, often enhanced by the bottle it is contained within. Made mostly from glass, nineteenth and twentieth century perfume bottles are some of the most popular with collectors. While some individuals are interested in collecting empty bottles, others look for old bottles with the original contents remaining. As perfume formulas have changed over the years, the most expensive and rare bottles are those still containing fresh formulas of discontinued perfumes. Each collector is different, most specializing in a particular type of bottle – whether from one time period, of a certain color or designed in a particular shape.
Regardless of if you have a small collection of old perfumes that have been stored away in the attic or an extensive one of empty glass bottles lining your shelves, they are worth having a look at. Popular with collectors are the ornate bottles from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.
Bottles from France are some of the most valuable, especially those made by René Lalique. A talented French artist, Lalique designed a wide variety of pieces – from glass bottles to chandeliers. His bottles from the 1920s and earlier are the most sought after, often selling for thousands of dollars.
So how do you determine the value of your bottles? First, identify the manufacturer. Read the label and look for specific markings to learn where and when your bottle was made. Also, consider its condition. Bottles with their original box are highly sought after, as are those with original, still fragrant perfume within. Most importantly is the condition of the glass itself. Cracks and chips can greatly diminish value. There are many factors that come into play when it comes to pricing vintage perfume bottles, so we recommend having a professional evaluate your collection.
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