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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Victorian Attar Perfume Bottles

Otto of Lavender, Otto of Rose, Rose Attar, Rose Oil bottles, Oxford lavender bottles, lay down bottles, reclining perfumes...



These types of bottles are known as the throwaway bottles, these long skinny glass bottles often had gilded decorations, these bottles were for the attar or otto of rose or lavender.

These were called throwaway bottles as when the lady of the house returned from the store where she purchased her otto bottle, she would then decant the contents into her own fancy bottles on her vanity or in her chatelaine scent bottle.

The majority of these rather crude bottles were made in Germany and Bohemia, more for the common folk than the wealthy. These were sold at spas, fairs and shops and not made for refill, hence the name throwaway. The earliest mention I have found for them is in an 1804 newspaper, The Times (London).



Another early mention is from an 1830 New York Evening Post newspaper, "Otto of Roses, in small gilt bottles, warranted pure, put up in boxes of one dozen each."



Edgefield Advertiser, 1856:
"This oil s brought to Constantinople in hermetically sealed copper vessels, varying in size from those capable of holding an ounce to those which hold seven pounds, so that, at the regular market price, ($6 an ounce), one of these copper cases may be worth $50. The oil is worth six times its  weight in silver. The ordinary amount of oil produced in Hassanlik (in Bulgaria) is a little less than 3,000 pounds. Ay Constantinople the oil is put up in gilt bottles, manufactured expressly for the purpose in Bohemia."
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Most bottles measure 7” to 8” long and have a ground stopper with a round, flat top. These bottles were usually made of clear glass, but can also be found in blue, amber, green or other colors.


These bottles were blown glass and the stoppers often had a long dauber that reached down near the end of the bottle, the glass was decorated with ovals, crisscrosses, spirals, crosshatching, and flat planes cut into the sides. The bottles were hand decorated with bright enamels or rich gilding.

These are not tear bottles. They were made to hold perfume oils.


New Remedies: An Illustrated Monthly Trade Journal of Material, Vol 9, 1880:
"Original Packages of Otto of Rose. Otto of rose is now generally imported in kunkumas, which are flattened round tin bottles sewed up in thick white woollen cloth, holding 1 to 10 lbs, and bearing a calico label inscribed in Turkish characters. The label should indicate the tare of the bottle in Turkish weights, the rough rule for calculating which is to take 10 drachms as equal to 1 oz English. The small, gilt, white glass bottles which are commonly the only original bottles known to retail druggists, are imported from Germany into Constantinople, and are there filled by the merchants. These also should bear a calico label indicating the tare in Turkish weights. The epithets Virgin and Optiss are of English origin they are quite unknown in Turkey, and seem to have no equivalents there. They are probably applied arbitrarily according to the vendor's belief in the purity of his samples. All gilt bottles of otto may be treated alike."

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