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Looking At Perfume Bottles


Phalon'S Bower Of Perfume, In The Crystal Palace, New York., Digital ID 801369, New York Public LibraryAncient peoples, especially the Egyptians, understood that perfume was both a luxury and a necessity. I’m running low on one of my favorite perfume scents. Fortunately for me, I won’t have to head out to one of the rather intimidating old-time New York emporia featured in the illustration left. 

I only have to trot up the street to Saks!

The packaging of perfume, now more commonly known as branding, is a subtle business in itself. A magnificent overview of this ingenuity is richly represented in an Art title called Masterpieces of the perfume industry. You can find even more good reading by trying the following subject headings: perfume and incense; perfume bottles; miniature perfume bottles; perfume paraphernalia; scent bottles; and even cologne bottles.

Isn’t it interesting that, when searching for books on perfume bottle design, I found the most titles on the subject appeared in the 1980s? I wonder if there is a reason behind this, or if the “me decade” just made it a natural topic for investigation? Sometimes a quick visual metaphor for the 1980s still pops into my mind: Nancy Reagan in a red ball gown and a tiara.


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