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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Vintage Perfumes with Egyptian Themes

Just before the turn of the century, perfume companies began marketing perfumes, cosmetics and powder boxes with ancient Egyptian themes. These little luxuries were one way for the average woman to bring some of the exotic into her boudoir.




One of the best examples is the El Mesdjem kohl for lining the eyes manufactured by Dorin in 1892. The traditional black powder was presented in an ivory container decorated with hieroglyphics. El Mesdjem continued to be so popular, that it was sold well into the 1920s, but in a less glamorous container.

Eve's Glossary by By Marquise de Fontenoy (pseud.), 1897:
"One little secret which I acquired in the Far East, and which I will describe as far from being injurious or unhealthy, it possesses medicinal properties, is the existence of a powder called Mesdjem, and which when applied to the eyelids, improves the growth of the eyelashes. This powder is mentioned in the Koran under the name of Es Med, and it is this substance which the women of the tribe of Ammon used three thousand years before the Christian era. I do not know if Mesdjem is procurable in New York, but there are perfumers in Paris who send it by mail to any part of the globe." 


Other companies used Egyptian themes in their advertisements for perfumes. The perfume Un Air Embaume by Rigaud, relied on an Egyptian beauty to lend a bit of the exotic to their 1920 advertisement.

In the 1920s, with the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb, Egyptian imagery once again took hold in the perfume world, as evidenced in a 1923 advertisement for Ramses perfumes, their ad states that "The Egyptian motifs in the Ramses bottles present splendid opportunities to capitalize on the prevailing Tutankhamen furor". Obviously this was a statement meant for those department stores to stock up on Ramses perfumes.

The perfumes are as follows:


Nile Lily by Warren Hill: launched in 1885.


Le Lys du Nil by Rallet: launched in 1890. Simple clear glass bottle with ornate chromolithographed label with Egyptian theme . 4 ¾” tall.French perfume company established in Moscow as perfumers to the Russian Imperial Court, the label is in Cyrillic.

Lotos of the Nile by Quentins (Ellwood B. Chapman): launched in 1893.

La Reine d'Egypte by Gelle Freres: launched in 1900, bottle is clear glass and has Egyptian themed chromolithographed label.

Chrysis by Richard Hudnut: launched in 1904, available in both perfume and sachet powder. The sachet bottle displays a beautiful polychrome label featuring Egyptian goddess Isis with outstretched wings, the label reads "Chrysis Egyptian Sachet". The perfume bottle features an Egyptian falcon with outstretched wings, the embossed gold foil label reads "Chrysis Egyptian Perfume."






Scarabee by LT Piver: launched in 1909, introduced for Christmas in 1909, the bottle had molded scarabs on each side facing one another, supporting the stopper, in a spherical shape,.The bottle was presented in a leather box in the shape of a scarab. The powder box is in a scarab shape. The bottle was produced in clear and frosted crystal with sepia patina and there have been debates on which glasshouse manufactured it, some say Lalique, some say Lucien Gaillard. The perfume bottle estimate: $700-$900, price realized at auction was $1,175. The powder box estimate: $800-$1,200, price realized at auction was $999.



Sphinx by Katz and Besthoff: launched in 1913. K&B (Katz and Besthoff) was a drug store chain headquartered in New Orleans.

Myrbaha by Bichara: launched in 1913, Baccarat bottle, frosted stopper in the shape of pharaoh's head with grey patina. Bottle also used for other Bichara perfumes. 5 7/8" tall. I have also had this stopper on a very rare pyramid shaped bottle before. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Price realized at auction: $1,200.






Le Secret du Sphinx by Ramses: launched in 1917, Baccarat bottle shaped as a Canopic jar in clear glass decorated with hieroglyphs and frosted stopper head of pharaoh in grey patina. Stenciled Baccarat. Stands 4” tall. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000. Price realized at auction: $35,250.




Toute l'Egypte by Monne: launched in 1917.



Sysmee by Cottan: launched in 1917. pyramid shaped clear crystal flacon with 3 faces and a triangular section, frosted clear crystal stopper is the shape of a small pharaoh's head with black patina. Bottle by Baccarat. Auction estimate: $4,000-$7,200.



Lotus Sacre by Ramses: launched in 1918. Name refers to the "sacred lotus", a highly regarded and prominent flower in ancient Egyptian mythology and everyday life. It was said to have magical powers as well as being an aphrodisiac.

Cleopatra by Gaston J. Block: launched in 1918. Named after the ancient female pharaoh.

Ramses IV by Ramses: launched in 1919: Named after the ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Baccarat perfume bottle of J. Viard design in clear and frosted crystal with grey patina in shape of pharaoh's head, stopper is a smaller version of the royal double plumed crown. Stenciled BACCARAT. 4 3/4"tall. Estimate $6,500 - $8,500.




Ambre de Nubie by Ramses: launched in 1919. Name refers to the land of Nubia, which was where the ancient Egyptians mined their gold. Figural bottle featuring a lion headed god with nemes headdress with the cow horned sun disk crown, shape of bottle mimics a sarcophagus.






Blue Lagoon by Dubarry: launched in 1919. J. Viard perfume bottle made by Depinoix in clear and frosted glass with multi-color patina, figural stopper. 4" tall. Estimate $3,500 - $6,000. Price realized at auction: $4,440.




Throughout the 1910s and 1920s Ahmed Soliman and the Shimy Brothers of Cairo produced some of the finest perfume bottles, made of colored glass from Czechoslovakia and painted with rich enamels of Egyptian figures. Please see my guide on these rare perfumes.




c1930 Czechoslovakian perfume bottle and stopper, blue crystal, dauber, jeweled and enameled metalwork at neck and all around. *Illustrated in 1920s Ahmed Soliman catalog. 7 1/2 in.









Enigma by Lubin: launched in 1921, J. Viard perfume bottle as a crystal pyramid with golden sphinx, resting on a bed of lotus flowers in original box with Egyptian scarab graphics, c. 1921. 3 1/2" tall. Estimate $25,000 - $30,000. Price realized at auction: $27,600.



Jerusalem by Godet: launched in 1921, this clear glass bottle featured a lady's head on the label, and had Egyptian lotus flowers decorating the sides of the bottle. Though the name comes from the Biblical town, the advertisement featured Egyptian themes.

Karnak by Armour & Co: launched in 1922. Named after the ancient Egyptian city where the magnificent temple to Amun is located.



Isis by Melba: launched in 1922. Named after the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.

Bouquet Egyptien by Rox-Tan: launched in 1922.

Luxor by Armour & Co: launched in 1922. Named after the ancient Egyptian city.

Egyptian Lily by Marinello: launched in 1922.

Egyptian Lotus by Solon Palmer: launched in 1922.

Egypt by Colgate: launched in 1923, clear glass amphora shaped bottle with frosted stopper trimmed with Greek key design. Gilt foil label embossed with head of Egyptian goddess. 3 3/4" tall. Box decorated with Egyptian theme of a goddess.




Amarna by Colgate: launched in 1923. Named after the ancient city of Amarna, where the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten established his palace and built his temple to the sun god Aten.

Jasmine d'Egypte by Ramses: launched in 1923.

Bast by Colgate: launched in 1923. Named after the ancient Egyptian cat goddess Bast, also known as Bastet.

Ambar Nile by Leigh (Shulton): launched in 1923.

Khepera by Colgate: launched in 1923.

Kahira by Colgate: launched in 1923.

Tut-An-Kham by Godet: launched in 1923.

Sphinx by Dralle: launched in 1923, clear crystal bottle in steep pyramid shape, with gilt foil label with sphinx imagery. 4 1/2" tall.



Le Chypre du Nil by Ciro: launched in 1923.

Ptah by Ciro: launched in 1923. The name refers to a god from ancient Egyptian mythology. Presented in a Baccarat crystal flacon, shaped like an ancient Egyptian canopic jar, with a domed stopper. The front of the bottle has a elongated paper label reminiscent of a cartouche, used in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs to contain the names of royalty. The neck of the bottle is wrapped with silken cords terminating in double tassels. The bottle stands 4 1/4" tall x 2" wide x 1 1/2" deep.



Sphinx d'Or by Ramses: launched in 1923, figural sphinx shaped bottle resting on a plinth. I have not seen this bottle in person, only in a 1923 advertisement, so I am wondering if the sphinx was gilded. The bottle was of Baccarat crystal.



Egizia by la Ducale: launched in 1923, the powder box for this scent was decorated with the face of an Egyptian lady, as well as other Egyptian themes. I only have a picture of a bottle that was released in 1936, a factice or cologne bottle in glazed ceramic, exotic head (although not Egyptian) hung with brass earrings, c. 1936. Lacking brass and cork stopper. Marked CANOVA/CANOVA ITALY 11 3/4"tall. Estimate $650 - $1,200. Price realized at auction: $600.



Djavidan by L'Institute de Beaute: launched in 1925, amphora shaped crystal bottle resting in gilded metal stand with Egyptian falcons, bottle by the Cristalleries de Nancy. 5 1/8" tall. Box decorated with Egyptian themes.

Cheops by Lentheric: launched in 1924.

Lotus D'Or by Lentheric: launched in 1924.

Valle de Rois by LT Piver: launched in 1925, clear crystal Baccarat obelisk shaped bottle decorated with Egyptian symbols.



Nuit d'Egypte by Lionceau: launched in 1925, opaque jade green slag glass bottle is squatty shaped and has a molded stopper and gilded foil embossed label. Bottle stands 2 1/2" tall.



Egyptian Alabastron by Edouardo: launched in 1927: rare Baccarat bottle in clear crystal with enameled and molded detail, lotus stopper with blue patina. Modeled after an ancient bottle in the collection of Enrico Caruso. Bottle stands 4” tall, stenciled Baccarat. Estimate: $8,500-$9,500. Price realized at auction $16,450.



Eau de Nile by Elizabeth Arden: launched in 1926.

Hycsos by Ramses: launched around 1926

Niradjah by Marquis: launched in 1927, Depinoix perfume bottle in black crystal with red cased crystal stopper, with label, in deluxe silver and yellow silk presentation box, 1920s. 3 3/4" tall. Estimate $4,500 - $8,000. Price realized at auction: $7,200.



Egyptian by Edouardo: launched in 1927.

La Pyramide by Houbigant: launched in 1927.

Lotus by Edouardo: launched in 1927.

Chypre Egyptien by Maurice Babani:: launched in 1928.



Egyptian Beauty by Oriental Perfumery: launched in 1928.

Canarina by Lalique: launched in 1928, cobalt blue glass bottle decorated with an all over pattern of stylized eyes, representing the ancient Egyptian eye of the sky god Horus, known as the udjat. The box had this pattern repeated on its cover. Bottle marked R. Lalique. 2" tall.



Nuit Divine and Lilas de Paques by Edouardo: introduced in 1928, bottles made of Baccarat crystal and decorated with stylized lotus flowers, with a lotus shaped stopper. These bottles were produced for a Christmas edition for the perfumes.



Ramses II by Bichara:: launched in 1928, crystal bottle by Cristalleries de Saint Louis, molded as an Egyptian obelisk with deeply impressed hieroglyphics and labeling, with silver gray luster patina. Inner stopper present. 8" tall. Estimate: $7,000 - $10,500



Camelia du Nile by Oriza Legrand: launched in 1929.

Secret Princesse Nefertiti by Maurice Babani: launched in 1938, golden Egyptian figure stopper.



Jasmine from Egypt by Tuvache: by Tuvache: launched in 1945.


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