Glass Scent Bottles

Since there has been scent there have been scent bottles, but they first became popular in the mid 18th century. The best quality ones were made of gold, silver, enamel and porcelain, decorated with colourful enamels or gilding. The majority of scent bottles were made of glass, which could be cut, gilded, enamelled and produced in a number of different shapes.

Clear glass would often be cut or faceted to reduce the amount of light reaching the scent inside. Early designs often had a second chamber to accommodate smelling salts. Its corrosive effect on clear glass made opaque or coloured glass more popular, dark blue, emerald, amethyst and ruby being the most desirable and some scent bottles were made in dual colour.

The once popular double-ended bottles were made by welding two separate bottles together.  They were often mounted in silver and brass and the maker’s name or mark can sometimes be found inside the lids.

Some of the best coloured glass in England came from Stourbridge, although glass from Nailsea factory near Bristol was also popular.  Venitian glass with its latticed patterning was also very much sought after. 

Early scent bottles have always been very collectable.  They are small, affordable and of outstanding quality and they are readily available at antique fairs and shops, as well as on the internet.

Scent bottles come in a variety of styles with strong workmanship techniques and as they are relatively underrated in the marketplace they are worth collecting, as the price is bound to rise.  When buying glass scent bottles check that there are no cracks or chips, especially around the neck and stopper.  Make sure that the stopper fits on tightly.

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