Learn about Scent Bottles

In Victorian days scent bottles were often made of pressed glass, with silver or silver-plate rims and cut glass or imitation cut glass stoppers.

Generally, the customer purchased the bottle empty and had it filled by a chemist or perfumier, as ready filled bottles of perfume were not yet on the market.

The variety of shapes was enormous. The larger scent bottles were made in the shape of flagons or decanters. In the 1870s a new design appeared, the double ended bottle. This was a slim cylindrical bottle with a round or polygonal surface. Some were produced in clear glass, some coloured dark blue, red, green, or yellow, and some were decorated in the Nailsea style. At each end were silver or plated caps, which were heavily chased or moulded. One half of the bottle was for scent and usually had a screw cap, while the other end was hinged, often spring loaded for fast access, and was for smelling salts.

Some bottles hinged in the middle, and when you opened them there was the grating of a vinaigrette on one side and on the other a recess with a glass-covered photograph. more...

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Antique Continental silver & crystal scent bottle, stamped to base, as inspected

Sterling silver perfume bottle, hallmarked Birmingham 1913, 11 cm high approx.

Two sterling silver and crystal perfume bottles, hallmarked Chester 1909, height 10 cm approx

Victorian sterling silver & glass scent bottle, hallmarked London 1884, 12 cm high approx.

A Victorian silver topped perfume bottle, the tapering crystal form with blue and yellow detail, embossed silver lid with original stopper. Length 13 cm

A fine silver gilt malachite scent bottle, late 19th century, the slightly tapering square section bottle in richly figured and veined malachite with an embossed and chased collar and hinged top in the rococo manner, with the original glass stopper, unmark

English hallmarked sterling silver George V pair of graduated glass perfume bottles of round form, with cut glass stoppers & engraved detail. Birmingham, 1912, maketr Henry Matthews. Condition: minor age related wear, some tarnishing, height of tallest

Antique perfume bottle with sterling silver cap, marked London, TJW, 1896, approx 10 cm high

A Victorian heart shaped porcelain scent bottle painted with a scene of a courting couple, sterling silver screw cap, English circa 1900, 5.5 cm long

A George III sterling silver scent bottle with screw cap, glass stopper by Cocks and Betteridge, Birmingham, 1802, 5 cm high

A Victorian facetted yellow glass squat vinaigrette scent bottle with hinged silver chased lid opening to reveal a silver grille, circa 1880, 3 cm high

A Victorian ruby glass sterling silver mounted scent bottle with snake with garnet eyes coiled around the body, garnet button to the hinged lid and glass stopper by Albert Cohen and Charles Solomon, Birmingham, 1896, 6 cm high

A Dutch silver mounted glass scent bottle, circa 1790, of flat oval shape with bevelled edge harnessed in engraved silver straps, on a domed foot and an oval panel engraved with a sailing ship, 10.5 cm high

A French Empire silver etui shaped scent bottle, 19th century, with applied olive leaves, gadrooned borders, hinged cap and glass stopper, French second standard small guarantee mark. 6.5 cm high

An Art Deco silver and lilac floral guilloche enamel scent bottle by Charles Thomas of Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA, circa 1920, 5 cm high

A Victorian floral painted porcelain scent bottle of cylindrical form with hinged silver cap by Charles May, Birmingham, 1887, 6.5 cm high

A Victorian sterling silver foliate embossed scent bottle with hinged lid, London, circa 1890, 5 cm high

A Victorian sterling silver tear shaped scent bottle by Stuart Clifford, London, 1883, with embossed decoration in diagonal panels, 10 cm high

Sterling silver ornate embossed covered scent bottle large cushion cut glass spherical body

Crystal perfume bottle, sterling silver mounted c.1907

A silver Clad etched glass perfume bottle, late 19th century, bearing an unattributed mark on Hanau style silver with probable maker's mark of Wolf & Knell, the rectangular bottle with Teniers style pierced decoration and a rococo inspired knop; cr

Two silver encased glass scent bottles, stamped 925 to base, 7.5 cm high (tallest) approx.

Sterling silver topped perfume bottle group in sterling silver container with guilloche enamel lids, hallmarked Birmingham 1915, 7 cm high

A Victorian sterling silver topped cut glass scent bottle. Late 19th century, with date letter and mark of fineness only, the globular bottle with cross hatched and star diamond forms to the body, with an engraved collar and a foliate embossed and chased h

Victorian sterling silver scent bottle, hallmarked Chester 1898 (G Watts & Co), 7 cm high

Miniature silver scent bottle & funnel, both marked '925', 3 cm high approx.

Sterling silver & crystal scent bottle, hallmarked Birmingham 1912, 10 cm high approx.

An Art Nouveau amber glass perfume bottle, the silver mounts with pierced c-scroll and foliate decoration, the cover with medieval embossed scene

Victorian sterling silver Perfume bottle and hinged lid marked Birmingham, 1888, F.E. 16g

A Victorian double ended scent bottle with sterling silver tops, London, 1864, 13 cm long

A Victorian cylindrical facet-cut red overlay glass scent bottle, circa 1870, with hinged sterling silver lid, 13 cm long

A green facet-cut double-ended scent bottle of binocular form, circa 1870, with silver gilt mounts, 11 cm long

A Tiffany & Co. sterling silver scent bottle, circa 1900, with embossed floral decorations throughout, 10 cm long

A Victorian clear glass scent bottle, circa 1880, with elongated silver, blue and red glass striations throughout and spring loaded silver gilt hinged lid, 9 cm long

A compressed circular polished lithyalin glass scent bottle, possibly French, 1830, with silver gilt cap, 4.5 cm long, Lithyalin glass was developed in Bohemia by Friedrich Egermann (1777-1864), and is opaque and has a marbled surface resembling semiprecio

A Bohemian red overlay facet-cut glass scent bottle, 19th century, with fine gilt decoration throughout and embossed sterling silver cap, 8 cm long

A Victorian blue and white double overlay facet-cut glass scent bottle, with embossed hinged sterling silver lid, 10 cm long

A rare Tiffany & Co. sterling silver scent bottle and vinaigrette aperture, circa 1875, mark for Edward C Moore, modelled as a two-handled Roman amphora with applied spiral and foliate, 7 cm long