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Perfume Bottle Appreciation

Perfume Bottle Appreciation 9 years ago
I have found myself roaming through Parfumo eyeing bottles vicariously while I wait for my next delivery. Normally I would wait to encounter them in person but there are so many gorgeous niche and limited edition bottles that I have given in to a bottle rating spree! I love the bottle colour sorting feature, I'm tempted to go shade by shade and make a side project of rating each one. Though this is likely to take some time. Wink

Obviously there are quite a few people that do rate by vision alone. How do you feel about this?

I suppose least here on Parfumo we know that bottle appreciation will not alter scores for the juice... unlike another site I can think of where something isn't even released yet and yet is inundated with love and hate ratings simply from the visual preview of it!

That said, some are of surprising quality. A "cheap" perfume like "Believe" has a particularly beautiful glass container even if the plastic parts detract from the heft of it. Then there are bottles that look fascinating but feel awkward and flimsy when sprayed ("Omnia", I'm looking at you) not to mention those poor life-changing fragrances in cringeworthy plastic monstrosities.

A related idea for the moderators... upon mouseover of a perfume preview, can we have icons pop up at say, 50% opacity to show which ratings we have already provided rather than having to load each page individually to check? Just a small star in each colour that we have rated, perhaps a gold star if every rating category is complete.
9 years ago
I've never rejected a fragrance based on the bottle, nor bought one just because I liked the flacon; however, when I'm passing by the department store perfume counters, thinking I might sample something on the fly, I find that I always gravitate towards perfumes housed in flacons I like the look of.
My collection is really small - I've only been accruing things over the last six months or so - but funnily enough, I've noticed a trend in the design of the bottles. I seem to have a large proportion of clear glass, clean lines and squareish/rectangular bottles with minimal ornamentation.
I also like a heavy glass bottom (think Hermes or Bottega Veneta) and a bottle that is not too wide or chunky to spray one-handed. This often changes with the size of the bottle; sometimes a 100ml size is just a taller version of the 50ml bottle, other times it's proportionally larger in all dimensions and becomes awkward to hold.
I don't like bling, bows, plastic doo-dads such as flower "hats", or attempts at themed sculpture (unless they're very classical and well executed).
I"m quite happy with the aluminium can style (such as Montale or YSL Rive Gauche) as they are practical, have clean lines and are easy to use. I also like the presentation of the JHaG fragrances - they're actually nicer in real life than they appear on the web.
9 years ago
Your tastes are similar to mine. My favourite bottles are the clear glass Guerlain ones with clean square lines. A little embellishment is fine, some have beautiful gilt details which I love. Minimalist styles like "L'eau d'Issey" and "Truth" are also nice, though Truth has an artistic tilt to the bottle which is actually terrible in practice as sometimes when I think I have placed it down safely it's actually about to fall over.
I also like colourful, stylish bottles like "Purplelight" or "Halloween Man".

Last month I bought a whole gift set of "Beautiful U" on sale for $20, it was gorgeously packaged with both a 100ml and 50ml bottle of EDP, a body lotion and bath gel. The scent is pleasant though short lived but the flacons for the price are amazing... thick heavy glass with just the right amount of detail. They did have annoying fabric bows but I removed them and left them inside the box in case I ever trade them away. I'm the kind of person that avoids branding on clothing, accessories, picks the stickers from the covers of books etc. I recently went shopping for new glasses and it's almost impossible to find nice frames without huge brand names and symbols all over them.
9 years ago
Thank you Scarletting for this interesting topic. I have so many bottles to look at myself, both large and miniature that this topic made me stop to think what I really do appreciate.
I like a heavy glass bottle that feels good in my hand when I hold it, that I know. Something contoured to my palm and that isn't unwieldy. I'm not especially fond of ribbons and bling, they're dust collectors, as far as I'm concerned. The old-fashioned rectangular shape, like Coco Chanel, Chanel No. 5, I do like, or the chunkier rectangular Topaz, and the Fendi's also feel good. Minimal printing on the bottle is essential for me to really appreciate it as a classic.
But, on the other hand, I enjoy perusing my collection and admiring the designs of all the bottles, too. Life would be boring if they were all the same! I've never purchased a perfume for what it's encased in, that has never swayed me. But, I can say, I've steered clear of a scent or two because I found the bottle absolutely abominable. I'd say the only one that's out of the ordinary in my collection is my Habinita, but it's also Lalique glass and the women etched into the pressing make it a unique style. Oh, but then again, my Chopard Wish is rather pretty.
Calvin Klein's Truth is the worst bottle I own. I always worry it's going to fall over.
9 years ago
I honestly don't know what CK were thinking with that. "They'll love the perfume, break their bottles by accident and then buy more! It's the perfect plan!" Laughing

I agree that variety is better than endless perfection. I like the black Habanita bottles, the new one is on my wishlist. Though from images they look totally opaque... that annoys me to no end, there's no easy way to check the level of perfume left. My current signature "24 Gold" has this issue which adds to the love of wearing/fear of running out yo yo. I really should buy up more of it...
I have "Wish" too, it's a lovely bottle and surprisingly sturdy on my shelf, though the low-sitting perfumes do cause some trouble when I reach to put things at the back of the shelf out of view. Bvlgari "Black" has oft tried to murder my other perfumes in this way!

I suppose what I appreciate most is symmetry and balance mixed with subtle style. For example Kenzo "Pour Homme" is not symmetrical at all but is still lovely. Bright colour used with skill in bottles such as "Flower in the Air" is stark and memorable... when I was young the original "Flower" in its clear bottle with that blood red was just mesmerising!

I try very hard not to think less of a juice because of its bottle but some of them are almost impossibly ugly. Marc Jacobs "Bang" is great but "Dot" is eye-gougingly kitsch. At least there's experimentation though, and each to their own.
9 years ago
Hmmm, some of those links go to the wrong perfume with the same name. I wonder if there is a way to direct them to the right one when using quotes?
9 years ago
I suppose one has to think of the target market when regarding bottle design. I personally don't like the presentations of some of the scents aimed at teens and find that 'bling' reads as aspirational and cheap-looking, but I can see the appeal for young girls who don't take the subject too seriously. "Dot" is definitely an odd one! I did, however, consider it as an age-appropriate gift choice for my young pre-teen neice - a cross between the grown-up concept of owning a fragrance and a funky, toy-like dressing table ornament. In the end, I didn't buy her scent for a gift. I chose a book instead.
I keep my perfumes in their boxes, in a drawer, to protect them from light so the only time I get to really appreciate the bottle design is in the moment when I'm actually applying the scent. I only display the bottles when they're empty. I line them up on a high windowsill in the bathroom where the light can shine through them. It does fade the labels somewhat but the row of glass shapes looks sparkly and interesting (when I remember to dust - otherwise it becomes a testament to my sloppy housekeeping!).
9 years ago
I did, however, consider it as an age-appropriate gift choice for my young pre-teen neice - a cross between the grown-up concept of owning a fragrance and a funky, toy-like dressing table ornament. In the end, I didn't buy her scent for a gift. I chose a book instead.

You are my kind of aunt. Cool

As for boxes, I wish I had have kept all of mine from the beginning. At the moment I have kept mine from the last few months so I have a cardboard box I have packed with perfume packaging Tetris style. All of my bottles -the ones with boxes kept and without- are on one shelf out of light behind a sliding door in my walk in robe. However I am getting to the point where it's quite crowded up there and I'm considering the "keep boxed until spraying, replace in box" style, perhaps keeping my most favourite two or three ("Truth" for daily stuff like appointments, "24 Gold" as my general signature) up there for ease of use.
9 years ago
"Dot" is definitely an odd one! I did, however, consider it as an age-appropriate gift choice for my young pre-teen neice - a cross between the grown-up concept of owning a fragrance and a funky, toy-like dressing table ornament.

I find that Marc Jacobs straddles that line between kitsch and chic, often very successfully in his bottle designs. It's a rare feat in a world where the clean, austere lines of Chanel are the epitome of class and refinement that so many perfume houses emulate. Instant marketing edge.

But there is something else to Chanel's packaging -- a brand with a clear unified look across its range becomes instantly recognizeable. Think Serge Lutens or other houses with the same simple bottle designs for all their perfumes -- they are calm in a sea of bright colours and plastic frills.

Then there is the other extreme, houses like Thierry Mugler who wary their bottle designs a lot yet always retain some recognizeable quality about them. I don't like "Angel" for instance, but I have to appreciate the bottle designs on it and its innumerable flankers -- they are things of beauty in their own right, nevermind the juice.
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