Welcome!

Please understand that this website is not affiliated with any of the perfume companies written about here in any way, it is only a reference page and repository of information for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

One of the goals of this website is to show the present owners of the various perfumes and cologne brands that are featured here how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back these fragrances!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the fragrance, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories, what it reminded you of, maybe a relative wore it, or you remembered seeing the bottle on their vanity table), who knows, perhaps someone from the company brand might see it.

Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Selling Vintage Perfume Tips

  • Are you a collector of antique & vintage perfumes or want to get started?
  • Are you a seller who wants to list vintage perfumes but don't know where to start?
Then you have come to the right place! I have been collecting vintage perfumes for many years and have also sold them on ebay for several years. I will discuss several things people look for when buying vintage perfumes and things a seller should add to their item descriptions.


If you are a seller, please read the following basic tips:


1. Take really good photos!


Make sure you have a photo of the item you are trying to sell. Do not use other people's photos of a similar bottle or stock photos unless the perfume is brand new. Names for specific bottle shapes, and exact dates for different styles of even well known brands and fragrances are not yet standardized and fragrances often changed bottle shapes, label designs, packaging designs, ownership changes, reformulations, etc. (and these can be very important to your buyer).

Take good pictures! When taking pictures of commercial or colored glass perfume bottles, it is best to have a plain white background, this will show the true color of the glass, the juice, and any other important aspects. If you have a plain, clear glass bottle, shoot it with a black background and convert the photo to grayscale or black and white. It will show all the details in the glass beautifully!

Please take several photos of your bottle from different angles, the back, sides, top view, stopper, base, any intricate details. A good piece of advice is to take a photo of the bottle head on, level with your camera so people can see the actual fill level of the perfume inside as some people want to use the perfume.

Also take photos of the base of bottles especially if there is a label or any markings/names molded in the glass. Close up shots of labels on the front of bottles, damages areas, signatures, and close ups of baudruchage seals on the bottle necks also help your buyer determine whether or not to make a purchase. Do not use pictures that are blurry, too dark or if the item is too far away to make out details.

Before you take a photo, you may wish to gently wipe away any dust that has accumulated on the glass. A slightly damp paper towel or cotton swab works just fine. Be sure to not rub too hard if there is surface decoration such as gilding, hand painting or enameling or paper labels as this can be removed with too much effort. Also any type of screen printed lettering on the glass can also be removed with very little effort so please be very careful.  Please see my advice below regarding perfume residue and cleaning the interior!

2. Use The right terminology


Although, I advise you to use the keyword "perfume" in your title to get more exposure, please try to be accurate in your descriptive text, especially if your bottle is really an Eau de Parfum, Eau de Cologne, Cologne, Eau de Toilette (Toilet Water), etc.

Do not continue to call it a perfume in the descriptive text if it is not, especially if the label is not readable in your photo. Most fragrance bottle collectors consider the distinction to be quite important. True perfume bottles marked "Parfum" or "Extrait" command higher prices. To help you here is my quick guide:

  • Parfum: also called extrait, parfum classic, extrait de parfum or extract, is the highest concentration of perfume. A perfume may contain 20-30 percent oils and high grade alcohol, and a slight amount of water. Vintage Parfums can often contain at least 22-40 percent essential oils. Due to the high concentration of essential oils. Parfum can last 7 to 24 hours on the skin. Parfum is the most expensive type of perfume. Any mixture lower in oils is known as an eau.
  • Eau de Parfum: also known as Esprit de Parfum, Secret de Parfum, Millesime, or Parfum de Toilette, is composed of 10-15 percent of essential oils with a slightly weaker alcohol and water mix. Vintage Eau de Parfum, Esprit de Parfum, or Parfum de Toilettes were often made up of 15-20 percent essential oils and were highly concentrated. Eau de Parfums usually last about 4-8 hours.
  • Eau de Toilette: also called toilet water, is a much thinner dilution of the same materials, containing approximately only 4-10 percent of essential oils, in an even weaker alcohol and water mixture. Vintage Eau de Toilettes often can contain up to 5-15 percent essential oils and were much more concentrated than modern formulas. Eau de Toilettes usually last about 3 hours. Meant to be splashed or sprayed throughout the day to freshen up. Perfect for wearing during daytime, or during the warmer months or warmer climates.
  • Eau de Cologne: for men or women, or aftershave, is further diluted, about 3-5 percent of essential oils, in an even still weaker alcohol and water mix. Usually lasts about 2 hours. Meant to be liberally splashed or sprayed throughout the day to freshen up. Perfect for wearing during daytime, or during the warmer months or warmer climates.
  • Eau Fraiche: this is the weakest form of fragrance on the market, a light toilet water similar to cologne or splash usually with 1-3 percent of essential oil in water and a higher grade of alcohol. Usually lasts for less than an hour. Meant to be liberally reapplied throughout the day. Perfect for wearing during daytime, or during the warmer months or warmer climates.
  • Natural Spray: is a fragrance that uses a non-aerosol pump to emit a fine mist. 
  • Bath Oils: a combination of fifteen percent essential oils blended with mineral oil, lanolin, or other fatty oils of plant origin.


3. Is it in a Sealed Box?


Always take photos of the sealed box before you remove the cellophane or wrapping paper. Take a photo of the sealed box from front and and its labeling on the wrapping paper. You might also want to take a photo of any logos or writing printed on the wrapping paper itself.

If there is cellophane or outer wrapping paper on the box, please carefully remove this at the bottom of the box. Carefully lifting up the corners, remove the cellophane from off the box or slip the box out of the wrapping paper and take photos of the bottle and box, so that your buyer can see how much perfume is left inside of the bottle.

This is extremely useful to see if there is any damage to the glass or any staining that may have occurred from damage or evaporation. Leakage can happen and not penetrate the outer surface of the box. I know because I have purchased plenty of "surprises" and been very disappointed. I ended up with empty or near empty bottles, cracked bottles, completely stained interiors of boxes and labels. This can severely affect value of a bottle and presentation. Sealed perfumes which look to have some perfume missing, have had their contents evaporated, this is caused by heat, light, and poor storage as well as aging.

Also, some buyers such as myself are interested in buying the bottle for the perfume contained inside as we wear it. 

The cellophane does NOT add value to the perfume bottle. However, I also advise sellers to retain the cellophane or any outer wrapping paper, especially if there are any labels or stickers on the outside that have identification such as the case with Guerlain perfumes. Once removed from the box, if you can, fold down the wrapping paper and place it inside of a large plastic ziploc bag. That way you can store this without it getting damaged or lost until the perfume bottle sells.

Also your buyer is interested in seeing what the bottle looks like as some bottles can be worth much more than others as in the case of Baccarat and Lalique examples or limited editions. And the fact remains that bottles have been changed over the years and a newer bottle can oftentimes signal a reformulation.


I do want to stress that Chanel parfum flacons were counterfeited as early as the 1920s and oftentimes the boxes look pretty close to the originals so sometimes the only way to tell if they are genuine is to inspect the bottle itself. This means, we need to remove the bottle from the sealed box. Some collectors prefer that you lift the little Chanel paper seal from the box at the corners rather than cut it. See my Chanel blog here for how to prevent buying fake Chanel perfumes.

In essence we remove the cellophane or wrapping paper to view:
  • any damage to glass bottle
  • to check for evaporation or loss of perfume
  • to check for any leakage of perfume and staining to the interior or labels
  • to see what the bottle looks like and who made it

Now for the outside surface of the box, there is a lot of information that will help you to date your fragrance.


If there is an e-sign, also known as the estimated sign, next to the volume, it was made after 1976. This is a mark that can be found on some pre-packed goods in Europe and indicates that the packaging is filled according to the European Union Directive.






If there is a EAN barcode on the box, this perfume dates to after 1989.



Starting in 1992, the Green Dot recycling symbol will appear on the box.


 

Period-after-opening symbol or PAO, is a graphic symbol that identifies the useful lifetime of a cosmetic product after its package has been opened for the first time. It depicts an open cosmetics pot and is used together with a written number of months or years. This symbol has been in use since 2005.



Refer to Insert: A hand pointing at a book means there is information or instructions contained on a leaflet, booklet, or other insert which can’t be listed on the primary label. The information can be things like an ingredients list, usage instructions, or warnings. This symbol is particularly useful for smaller cosmetic products since they don’t have enough space on their container to list all the product’s information.Thi has been in use at least since 2005.



From 1998-2003, a short list of ingredients are listed on the back of the box. Prior to this a box may only have listed the following ingredients: water, alcohol, fragrance. Older bottles, will have no ingredients listed at all.

By 2004, there will be a long, complicated list of ingredients listed on the back of the box. By 2010, even more ingredients are listed to comply with IFRA regulations.

Cellophane packaging was developed in 1908 by a Swiss textile engineer, Jacques Brandenberger, and in 1917 assigned his patents to La Cellophane Societe Anonyme and joined that organization. On December 26, 1923, an agreement was executed between Du Pont Cellophane Company and La Cellophane by which La Cellophane licensed Du Pont Cellophane Company exclusively under its United States cellophane patents. It was originally used to wrap luxury items, but was expensive and not moisture proof. Finding early perfumes with cellophane packaging is very rare. It wasn't until the late 1930s that cellophane started to become a regular feature on perfume box packaging.

If your label or box has the perfume company's address, you might be able to date the bottle by comparing the addresses for the company if a company has had more than one address.

The styles of the boxes or labels can also help determine age. Art Nouveau is generally 1900-1920s, Art Deco mid 1920s and some styles carried into the 1940s, psychedelic late 1960s-early 1970s. Please note that this isn't always foolproof.

Some perfume boxes or labels might have a warning label such as: "Warning--Use only as directed. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal". This warning was approved by the FDA starting in 1975.

Any cosmetic, perfume or lotion labeled "hypoallergenic" dates to after 1975, when the FDA allowed companies to mark their products in this manner.



4. How old is it?


Please bear in mind that your buyer is interested in how old the perfume is. If it dates to the 1920s, 1960s or even the 1990s, please make mention of it in your description. Many perfume bottles have been redeveloped throughout the years and knowing which year your bottle dates from may help in someone's quest for a particular bottle. If it is Victorian, please be sure it is an antique and not a reproduction, or those newly made light weight, thin glass perfume bottles from Egypt.

DATING REALLY OLD FRAGRANCE BOTTLES by Bill Ellis

  • (usually without labels) 
  • These are some characteristics of very old bottles, that may help you in dating them, based on my experience with old bottles and drawing on information in Glass - Volume 2, by Jane Shadel Spillman (1983) - one of the Knopf Collectors' Guides to American Antiques.
  • Rough pontil - before 1850 ("bottles made later only occasionally have rough pontils") [Spillman, p. 16] A "rough pontil" mark is a circular broken glass edge centered on the bottom of the bottle, where the pontil rod was broken from the bottom after blowing the bottle.
  • Flanged lip - first half of 1800s in the US [Spillman, bottle #65] A wide thin lip on a bottle formed by spreading the mouth of the bottle
  • Free blown or part-size molds - 1800-1830 in the US; no uniformity in size or pattern; not attributable to the glass house unless the bottle has an identifying mark [Spillman, pp. 12, 34] Free-blown bottles have no mold seams;bottles made in part-size molds may have a mold seam around the bottle at the shoulder; the upper part of the bottle was finished by hand.
  • Full-size molds - starting 1820, all bottles by 1830 - uniform size and pattern Spillman, p. 34] Bottles made in full-size molds have vertical seam lines from the base to the neck; the upper neck and lip were finished by hand.
  • Automatic bottle-blowing machines - starting in the late 1800s [Spillman, p. 35] Machine-made bottles have a mold seam from the base through the lip; the whole bottle is molded at one time.


If you have no idea on the age of your bottle and want to know more, you can look through any of my guides here on the website via the search box - or please contact me if you cannot find the info.

If you wish to know the value of your bottle and more information, you can request this information via my Appraisal Service.

If you estimate the date of a bottle or set, be careful. The debut date for a fragrance only dates its first bottle. After that, magazine ads are one good way to estimate the decade. Bottle style, zip code (started in 1963), and other clues will help you to date your bottle.

Older perfume will start to darken and the oldest perfumes have a very dark, thick, syrupy texture due to the alcohol and water evaporating leaving only a high concentration of essential oils and aroma chemicals behind.

Check out vintage advertisements for perfumes in old magazines. They will usually have a date on them and you can use these to compare your bottle to what is shown in the ad.

Use my Guide on How To Date Your Perfume Bottle.




Bottles embossed with or having labels marked "Made in Occupied Japan" were made from September 1945 until April 1952.

Enameled lettering, also known as serigraphy (instead of labels), on glass bottles started being used after the 1930s and was pretty regular feature in the 1940s onward. This lettering is fragile and can be easily lost with cleaning.

Look for a patent number on the base of the bottle, these patent dates were frequent in the 1930s and 1940s, you can look up the number on search engines on US patent webpages online. Also, English Registry Design numbers can also be found on perfume bottles from the United Kingdom, you can search the numbers online also.

Old glass bottles might have etched matching numbers on the base of the perfume bottle and on the bottom of the stopper. This was done at the factory when the stopper would have been ground to fit the bottle, the numbers are to show which bottle goes with the right stopper. These were usually found on French bottles such as Baccarat.

Older bottles stamped their name and origin somewhere on the bottle. In the 1940s, stickers replaced the stamping but were soon lost or destroyed, making it difficult to authenticate.

The word "dram" to denote contents was used mostly during the 1940s. It is equal to about 5ml. Dram bottles were small, usually purse sized, but were an economic and affordable way for women to purchase their favorite perfumes during the Second World War period.

Older bottles from the 1930s-40s would have lot numbers, bottle shape numbers or patent numbers embossed right into the glass base.

By 1970, cosmetic companies were stamping colored numbers on the bottom of their products. This stamping usually consisted of four numbers and was visible on the bottom of each item and is a "batch code", which is used by the company to note what year and month the product was created. Batch codes are often found either stamped on the glass or the label. Later, many bottles often have their batch codes engraved into the glass; (Chanel, Dior, Thierry Mugler, etc).




If your bottle is marked Gaillard, J. Viard or J. Villard, it was made during 1900-1920s. Lucien Gaillard was a contemporary of Lalique and designed many Art Nouveau perfume bottles for notable French perfume houses such as Clamy and Violet. Julien Viard was a French glass designer of the 1920s and designed bottles for Richard Hudnut, Isabey, Favolys and Langlois. Both Gaillard and Viard collaborated and you might find the mark of J. Villard on some bottles.

5. Who made it?


Who was the perfume company that made your fragrance? For instance, if Coty produced your perfume Emeraude, then make mention of it. Or if Guerlain made your bottle of Shalimar tell your buyer. Sometimes, perfumes can have the same names, but different makers. Your buyer may be looking up that particular maker in a search. Some collectors only want to buy certain perfume bottles from particular perfume houses.

Look on the base of your bottle for acid stamps for Baccarat, Lalique, Cristal Nancy or Cristal Romesnil, these markings add value to your bottle. Cristal Nancy closed their doors in 1934. Only from 1936, Baccarat bottles were systematically engraved with a mark. Prior to this, they were acid etched, stamped and some had round paper labels, while many have no distinguishing marks.

Lalique perfumes were marked with a signature on the bases. The signature has changed over the years and you can date a bottle by the style of the signature. Older bottles are marked R. Lalique in block lettering. You can look up various websites or books on Lalique to find signatures and the dates they were used. If your bottle is signed Rene Lalique or R. Lalique, this mark was used until 1945 when Rene Lalique died, after this date bottles will be simply marked Lalique France.

If your bottle has an embossed entwined HP mark on the base of the bottle, it was made by the glass factory of Pochet et du Courval in France after 1930.

If your bottle is marked S or SGD on the base, it was manufactured by the Saint Gobain Desjonqueres glass factory of France after the 1950s, when the factory was rebuilt after WWII and equipped with modern fully-automatic machinery.

If your bottle has a VB, or BR mark on the base, it was made by Verreries Brosse of France after the 1920s when the factory installed semi-automatic bottle making machines. In 1963, Brosse switched from making hand ground stoppers to precision machine grinding. In 1976, Brosse patented two new stopper innovations, the first is a ring made of polypropylene with horizontal joints placed on the stopper dowel. The second is a polypropylene coating of the stopper dowel designed with internal friction teeth.

6. Does it spray or is it a splash bottle?


Is your perfume bottle an atomizer? An atomizer is a perfume that has the squeeze ball! These bottles have a bulb that you would squeeze in order to produce a spray of perfume.  Though many of these older bottles are missing their bulbs and cords due to the rubber deteriorating over the years, this is a natural deterioration of the rubber and the overall value of the bottle should not depend on the bulb or cord as these can be replaced.

Some atomizers are bulbless and use a metal plunger type spray.

If your perfume is a spray type, be sure to mention if your perfume is an atomizer, because some people are specifically looking for these. Look at the base of your atomizer for any manufacturer's signatures or labels, or has any hang tags or original box. Some atomizer manufacturers are highly collectible like Devilbiss,Volupte, Aristo, Mignon, Irice, Apollo, Marcel Franck. Be sure to mention if your piece is acid-stamped, specially if it says Czecho-Slovakia, Baccarat, Lalique or France.

Does your bottle have a dauber? The long stick thing at the end of a stopper that dips into the perfume is properly called a dauber (also known as a tigella--a rod, usually of glass and sometimes sculptured, attached to the underneath of a perfume bottle stopper for use as a dipper). It isn't called a dobber, dabber or wand. In the case of ground glass stoppers, like those on Czech bottles, does it look like there was a dauber there but was broken off at some point? Make mention of this and show a photo of it for your buyer.

Older perfumes are sealed with onion skin, gelatin, viscose or thin celluloid in either red, clear, blue or other colors.

Bakelite screw caps were in usage from 1930s-1950s. Some perfume bottles as the ones for Lanvin often continued using black Bakelite screw caps into the 1960s. If you rub the cap with your finger briskly or hold it under hot running water (remove cap from bottle first!) for about 20-30 seconds, then smell it, if it has a formaldehyde odor, it is Bakelite.

Lucite caps were used from the late 1930s-onward. The older lucite caps become yellowed or discolored from perfume and can have small fractures or chips.

Another feature was the use of plastic caps placed over the base of a ground glass stopper. The finest plastic caps began to be used by 1970 when the glass factory of Saint Gobain Desjonqueres introduced the first plastic covered dowel stoppers.

Glass stoppers that had dowels that went into corks were in use from 1870s-1920s.

Goldtone plastic screw caps were in use after the 1940s.

Goldtone metal screw caps were in use from 1920s onward.


7. Condition


What is the overall condition? Are there any chips, scratches, fleabites, stains, or cracks? Chips along the mouth of the bottle or on the base of the stopper? If your bottle has been gilded or enameled, is there any wear to the gilding or enamel? Is dauber end snapped off the stopper?

If your stopper is frozen in place, be sure to mention that when listing. Some buyers prefer if you do not disturb it, plus it will help prevent leakage when it comes time to ship the bottle.

Describe defects honestly. Descriptions of defects and full disclosure is the rule when it comes to glass. Flea bites on stoppers, nicks, tears in labels, broken corners on set boxes, missing box tops, dings on bottle bottoms, and chips out of lips always need to be mentioned.

How visible the defect is when the bottle is displayed is also helpful to mention. Also in the case of atomizers, if you replaced a ball (bulb) and cord, please mention this as well.

If any repairs were done to glass or porcelain, please mention this as well, people do not like to be surprised and may request a refund.

8. How big is it?


What is the size of the bottle? please make mention how tall the bottle is and the width. Some bottles may look big/small on the computer, but a buyer may be disappointed in how big/small it may be in person. Mention if the bottle is a mini perfume or if it is a large factice (dummy, display bottle). So take measurements if you can.

Describe important colors of the glass, label, or box, if they look wrong in your photo. Color rendering in photos is often hard to control; your description can explain away colors that are artifacts. Try to give the height of the bottle, or the dimensions of the box holding a set.

The term "mini" is not very precise - it is used for a wide variety of sizes usually under 3" in height. "Micro mini" is used when the bottle is under 1" tall. Also, some collectors prefer not to buy very large bottles. By the way - I prefer not to see a ruler in the preview picture: it detracts from the beauty of the bottle or set.

9. Does it have a label?


What condition is the label in? This is very important as this adds or decreases the value of your bottle. For instance, is there any wear, fading, smudges, chipping? Is it a gold or silver foil label? Is it a metal label? Is the label missing or on the base?

Is there enameled lettering on the bottle instead of a label? Does this have wear? In the case of lettering on the glass itself, please take extreme caution when cleaning these bottles as the slightest rubbing can cause the lettering can cause it to come off, I have learned the hard way!

Try to get close-ups so that a potential buyer can read the label and judge its condition. (Some digital cameras have separate settings for close-ups, look for a flower or tulip motif.)

If you have glare on your label, or if the label is not readable in your photo, try to describe the quality of the label in your words. Tell buyers if the label is mint, smudged, rubbed off on certain letters, peeling, torn, etc.

Old labels turn brown naturally, however, water and perfume can cause stains on labels over the years.

The styles of the boxes or labels can also help determine age. Art Nouveau is generally 1900-1920s, Art Deco mid 1920s and some styles carried into the 1940s, psychedelic late 1960s-early 1970s. Please note that this isn't always foolproof.

At the beginning of the 20th century, revenue stamps appeared on the imported scents coming into America. This stamped container is very collectible, because of the information on that stamp.

Always look at all sides of a bottle. Some labels can be read from both sides, looking thru the back of the bottle. You might encounter labels which have the date stamped on the back of the labels. Sample bottles from the 1950s onward, often had labels that would say "sample, not to be sold". Today's bottles read "tester". Factice, or display bottles, were not meant for resale, and will have labels such as: "dummy, not for sale". Sometimes a date is also stamped on the backside of the label, I have seen this with old Chanel and Lanvin bottles. Chanel bottles from the 1960s onward should have the backs of their labels marked with a copyright symbol and CC.

If your bottle has a label which states: "returning this bottle to the perfumer is a national duty"...then your bottle dates from 1940-1945 during World War II.

If your label states that the perfume was "created/compounded/assembled" in France or USA, it dates to after the 1940s and most likely dates to the 1950s.

The presence of clear labels indicating contents were first used around the 1950s. These are either on the front, back or base of your bottle.

If your bottle has a label stating SDA (Specially Denatured Alcohol) it dates to the 1940s-1950s.



If your box or label has a number with a degree symbol, this notes the perfume or cologne's alcohol percentage. Two common percentages are 80% and 90% for eau de toilette and cologne. This helps date the bottle to after the 1950s.

A Zip Code on a label denotes age meaning this bottle is from 1962 or later. Before 1937, no zip codes were used. From 1937 to 1962, two code numbers were used on mail and labels. In 1962, all zip codes were required by the US Postal Service.


Ideas for Describing the Condition of Labels on Commercial Fragrance Bottles by Bill Ellis


The label on a commercial fragrance bottle, can be an exceedingly important component of the value of the bottle to collectors. This is especially true for antique bottles valued for their historical interest, rather than those with unique designs and considered art objects. Many antique fragrance bottles lose 50 to 75 percent of their value if their label is missing, the proportion depending mainly on the esthetic appeal of the bottle itself compared to the label. For example, many Prince Matchabelli bottles are attractive and desirable without any label; for them, the loss of a label may decrease their value maybe 25 percent. But many Lanvin bottles without their distinctive golden metallic labels would not look very different from Revlon fragrance bottles. I would downgrade the value of a screw-capped Lanvin bottle without its label by about 75 percent. 
My ideas presented here, however, are for grading the label between the extremes of no label and a perfect label. The following are my suggestions for grading fragrance bottle labels, and the corresponding percentage of full label value based on its condition. Remember that the conditions of the label and the glass combine to determine the value of the whole bottle, and the relative contribution of the two to overall value is determined by collector opinion. 
Grading Fragrance Bottle Labels: 
mint (100%) - the label is in perfect condition, like new, properly positioned (usually centered) on the bottle front or bottom; the words are properly centered on the label
nearly mint (95%) - the label is nearly perfect, with only one minor fault: minor scratch, minor stain, or minor crease 
excellent (75-90%) - the label is slightly worn, but all words can be read easily, and none of the label is missing; it may be off center, or some of the color on letters may be gone; corners of the label may be curled; there may be up to two other minor faults: minor scratch, minor stain, minor crease 
very good (50-70%) - the label is worn; the color on up to half of the letters may be gone, but most words are still readable; the fragrance name and brand name can be deduced; there may be up to two other major faults: major scratch, major stain, or major crease 
good (30-40%) - the label is very worn, and words may be obliterated; about half of the words are readable, or all of the words are hard to read; either the fragrance name or the perfume company can be deduced; there may be up to three other major faults: major scratch, major stain, major crease, or a piece of the label is missing (each 10% of the label missing is a major fault) 
fair (10-20%) - enough of the label is present to determine its original size and shape (at least half), or all of the label is present, but none of it is legible; possibly neither the fragrance nor the perfume company can be deduced 
poor (5%) - more than half of the label is gone or stripped to bare paper, with traces of the original words and color on the label visible, but no words readable
no label (0%)


10. Does it have a stopper?


Does your bottle have a stopper or cap? If you have a ground glass stopper, make sure the stopper and the base go together. On fine French crystal bottles, numbers will be incised onto the base and the bottom of the stopper, this was done at the factory to show that the stopper was specifically ground to fit the base. The numbers should match! Also, for the older bottles, say if you judge a ground glass stopper to be the original by a tight fit.

If your glass stopper has a plastic base (plastemeri), be sure to mention this in your listing as this helps to determine the age of the bottle. This will date your bottle to after the 1960s.

If your stopper isn't glass, mention if your cap is metal, plastic, Bakelite, celluloid, wood, cork, etc. Mention if you have a screw cap. 

If your stopper is stuck, be sure to mention this in the listing. Don't attempt to use force to remove it, as you can snap the stopper right in half or crack the bottle.

Try to use precise terms for the closure: "stoppers" insert into the mouth of the bottle; "caps" cover the mouth and are usually threaded.

Even with a photo, describe the type of stopper. It's often impossible to tell from a photo if it is all glass ( = ground glass), glass in cork, glass covered in plastic (plastemeri), or glass with dauber, etc.

11. What's inside?


Are there any original contents in the bottle? If so, how much? The contents, or what we call the "juice".

I cannot stress this enough - please - DO NOT POUR OUT ANY PERFUME! unless your buyer instructs you to do so. Many people wish to own bottles that still contain their original scents and haven't been opened. If your buyer doesn't want the perfume, you can contact me, as I might want the juice myself!

Do not open a sealed bottle! Older perfumes are sealed with onion skin, viscose or gelatin in either clear, red, clear, blue or other colors. They are also sealed with tiny metal cords or silk threads called baudruchage, you may also see little wax or metal seal and silken tassels. Perfumes generally sell higher if they are sealed. If your perfume is sealed, but looks like it has some missing, it's most likely due to evaporation. Most bottles look beautiful with their juice inside, and I feel it completes the presentation.

Even if there is just a little amount, please let your buyers know. I usually give a percentage, like there is 20% of perfume left in the bottle. If your bottle is 7-10 years old or older, please tell your buyers, as the perfume will no longer be fresh in most cases.

In the meantime, if your bottle still has its box, keep the bottle stored inside of its box and away from heat and light to help preserve the scent.

Is there perfume residue inside the bottle? Please do not soak the bottle as it might ruin the outside surface decoration, paper labels and possibly cause rusting or verdigris to form on any external metal decoration or hardware.

Some sellers like to clean perfume residue out, but might end up doing damage to paper labels or delicate gilding or enameling that is on the surface of the bottle so I usually advise against it. My best advice is to let your buyer clean the bottle unless you are experienced at it. Leave the residue, because perfume historians like myself have no other way of finding out how a long lost perfume smelled, so that residue can help us determine what type of scent it was.

If you feel you must clean the bottle out, if there are no labels or surface decoration, here is some easy advice on how to get some stubborn residue out of your bottle.

My advice if you are cleaning a bottle inside and you wish to remove some dried up perfume residue, you can get some little glass seed beads, and put them inside using a funnel with your cleaning solution (I use a product called Super Clean) and warm water, put your finger over the hole and gently shake the bottle or roll it around, the beads will help remove the gunk, then pour out the beads into a strainer (with very fine mesh, and rinse them off to reuse again), you can add a new group of clean beads into your bottle with more clean water to help rinse out the cleaning solution. Now to dry the interior, you can add some vodka using a medicine dropper or funnel, then pour out. Leave the stopper, cap or top of the hardware off of your bottle so that the interior will completely dry. The vodka will dry completely leaving behind no streaking, spotting or film.

Super Clean can also help loosen a stuck stopper. Place some solution in a flat bowl or dish, place your bottle upside down in the dish so that the solution is covering the mouth of the bottle. Let it sit this way for about 20 minutes. You should be able to remove the stopper now, Then wash the cleaning solution off of the glass. Please be careful with ANY bottles with labels or outside decoration.


12. Does it have a box or paperwork?


Is the original box present? If so, what condition is it in? Boxes are major plus in selling vintage perfumes and if they are in very good condition will make up a BIG part of the value. Collectors like to display them together, so be sure to include it in your pictures. Also, if there are any papers, brochures, or other items included, please mention them. If selling a boxed set, be sure to show a photo of the front of the box.

What I do is take a photo of the bottle next to the box and use this as my main photo in a listing, that way it is the first photo a buyer will see so they know exactly what they are purchasing.

13. Who made the bottle?


Was the perfume bottle manufactured by a famous company? Companies like Lalique, Baccarat, Julian Viard, Moser, St. Louis, Val St. Lambert, Steuben, Tiffany, Daum Nancy, Galle, or DeVilbiss, or Czecho-Slovakia? Collectors are looking for these. Some commercial perfume bottles were manufactured by Lalique, Baccarat and Cristal Romesnil, so be sure to look for their marks on the bottom of your bottle. If your bottle is marked on the bottom,please include a picture of it for your buyers.

Cristal Nancy closed their doors in 1934. Only from 1936, Baccarat bottles were systematically engraved with a mark. Prior to this, they were acid etched, stamped and some had round paper labels, while many have no distinguishing marks.

Lalique perfumes were marked with a signature on the bases. The signature has changed over the years and you can date a bottle by the style of the signature. Older bottles are marked R. Lalique in block lettering. You can look up various websites or books on Lalique to find signatures and the dates they were used.

If your bottle has an embossed entwined HP mark on the base of the bottle, it was made by the glass factory of Pochet et du Courval in France after 1930.

If your bottle is marked S or SGD on the base, it was manufactured by the Saint Gobain Desjonqueres glass factory of France after the 1950s, when the factory was rebuilt after WWII and equipped with modern fully-automatic machinery.

If your bottle has a VB , or BR mark on the base, it was made by Verreries Brosse of France after the 1920s when the factory installed semi-automatic bottle making machines. In 1963, Brosse switched from making hand ground stoppers to precision machine grinding. In 1976, Brosse patented two new stopper innovations, the first is a ring made of polypropylene with horizontal joints placed on the stopper dowel. The second is a polypropylene coating of the stopper dowel designed with internal friction teeth.

Do you think your bottle may be Czech? To look for Czech markings that may no longer be legible, take the base of the perfume bottle and rub it briskly against a piece of soft cotton like an old towel or denim, for several seconds, then immediately breathe hot air upon it, a mark such as Czecho-Slovakia may show up for a few seconds. If it didn't work the first time, try it again.

14. References?


Is this perfume bottle shown in any books you may have on perfume? If so, quote the book, author, page it's on, and the book value. Remember, book values are only a guide, but many collectors would like to know if the bottle has any value, or they can look it up in their own books. A book reference can also help to identify a bottle that has lost its label or other identifying marks.

Note: some books have been noted as having errors as to attributions of bottle makers such as Lalique, it would behoove you to do as much research as possible. In the case of Rene Lalique bottles, I urge you to view this website which is the most comprehensive on the internet, www.rlalique.com

15. Is it a Factice?


A factice is an advertising store display bottle that is lent to a perfume vendor (department stores) by the perfume house and are not meant for retail sale. The bottles are exact replicas of the normal perfume bottles. Because these bottles are on loan, they are usually returned back to the perfume house and not sold publicly. I would like to mention that factices came in many sizes, from smaller versions of their retail examples to identical sizes, all the way up to much larger than life examples. These larger bottles are known as giant factices.

The older factices were made of glass or crystal, the newer ones of plastic or acrylic. The bases may be acid stamped or etched with "dummy", "factice" or a "D" engraved into the glass. Please note that recent examples might have a sticker or label on the back of the bottle that states "dummy" or "for display purposes only" or "not for resale".

How to Determine If Your Bottle is a Factice?


Packing and Shipping


What is the best way to pack and ship your bottle? Packing and shipping perfume bottles can be tricky, but I have provided some tips below to help you.


Packing & Shipping Empty Bottles:


If your bottle is empty, be sure to wrap the stopper separate from the bottle to avoid breakage. Make sure your box has enough room to accommodate the bottle and it's packaging material. Also, make sure there is enough packaging material inside so that your bottle is not moving around inside the box during shipping as this can surely cause damage to the glass.

Please do not use newspaper as it is not a good cushion for the glass. I have received some broken bottles in the mail because the seller used flimsy newspaper. Use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and brown paper made specifically for packing and shipping. Some buyers want their perfumes double boxed.

Always insure the package and get delivery confirmation. If the bottle is over $100 you might want to get signature confirmation. You never know what will happen when the box leaves your hands at the post office--because YOU are responsible for getting the item in as described condition to the buyer, not the post office--so get insurance, it's cheap enough for some piece of mind. I insure bottles no matter what the price.


Packing & Shipping Opened Bottles of Perfume:


If the previously opened perfume bottle still has juice in it, and a loose stopper that you cannot tightly close (in the case of a ground glass or cork stopper),  I usually decant the perfume into a separate small glass vial (either with an attached medicine dropper in the screw cap or a pipette) to ship inside the box, so that the perfume won't soil the label or box. I always put these items in a plastic bag to prevent any leakage.

I then will wipe off the mouth of the perfume bottle and stopper plug - place the stopper into the bottle and put some black electrical tape over the stopper to keep it in place. Do not get any tape on the label or gilding. If a label may get in the way of the tape, I usually get a piece of paper big enough to cover the label, then I can put the piece of tape over that paper so that it does not touch the label.

After wrapping each bottle with bubble wrap, put each bottles in their own separate plastic bags. If the bottle comes with a box, be sure to wrap the box separately and put it in it's own plastic bag too so if the perfume leaks, it will not soil the box.

To keep your bottle from shifting or shaking inside the box, you need some fill in your boxes: packing peanuts are ideal, they are lightweight and provide good shock absorption. I also use crumpled brown kraft paper made specifically for packing and shipping when available. Some buyers want their perfumes double boxed.

Caution: Please do not use newspaper instead of bubble wrap to wrap your bottles, as it is not a good cushion for the glass. I have received many broken/damaged bottles in the mail because the seller used flimsy newspaper.

Always insure the package and get delivery confirmation. If the bottle is over $100 you might want to get signature confirmation. You never know what will happen when the box leaves your hands at the post office--because YOU are responsible for getting the item in as described condition to the buyer, not the post office--so get insurance, it's cheap enough for some piece of mind. I insure bottles no matter what the price.


Packing & Shipping Mini Bottles:

If your bottle is a mini, I make sure the lid is on tight and use some black electrical tape to wrap around the cap and bottle to hold the cap in place. I always put the bottle in a plastic bag and wrap with bubble wrap. If the bottle comes with a box, be sure to wrap the box separately and put it in it's own plastic bag so if the perfume leaks, it will not soil the box.


Packing & Shipping Commercial Spray Perfume Bottles:

For commercial spray bottles (eau de toilettes, eau de parfums, eau de colognes), I just put the cap on and place the bottle in a plastic bag and wrap with bubble wrap. If the bottle comes with a box, be sure to wrap the box separately and put it in it's own plastic bag so if the perfume leaks, it will not soil the box.

For more creative packing & shipping ideas, visit this website: https://glassandpotterysellers.org/packaging_tips.html


2 comments:

  1. Hi, I have a very nice vintage bottle of perfume and it has a small original white leather case. Another listing for the same perfume says "1948 BACCARAT Caron FRENCH CRYSTAL Glass Flacon Purse Perfume Flask Bottle with Gold Spire Cap-Paris France". mine has almost all of the contents, which is 1/4 ounce. It's a beautiful bottle. My question is this--the small cork has fallen into the "juice". Should I try to remove it, maybe with a long needle...or just leave it? Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, You can get a plastic pipette and decant the perfume into a separate glass bottle with a screw cap, you might want to get a brown or blue glass bottle to help preserve the perfume. Then try to get a long needle and skewer the cap or if it isn't permeable, try to get a pair of long, skinny jeweler's tweezers and see if you can pull the cork out. If you cannot get the little bugger out, keep the perfume in that separate bottle so that the cork does not alter the scent of the perfume. I get my glass bottles and pipettes for a nominal price on etsy.

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