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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Two Victorian sterling silver scent bottles, 19th century, one hexagonal by Sampson Mordan, London, 1884 and one cylindrical with 'bark' finish, the largest 7 cm high

A Victorian tapering cylindrical facetted blue overlay glass scent bottle, circa 1870 with floral embossed silver hinged cap and glass stopper, 10.5 cm long

A Victorian sterling silver mounted Webb style cut cameo overlay pink glass tear drop scent bottle, Birmingham 1885 cut with flowers, buds and leaves floral embossed silver hinged cap and glass stopper, 9.5 cm long

An Edward VII green glass ovoid scent bottle and stopper within a sterling silver floral embossed hinged holder by Snyder & Beddoes, Birmingham 1902, 8 cm high

A French silver mounted Bohemian fan shaped red overlay glass scent bottle, circa 1870 with fine gilt decoration throughout, floral embossed silver hinged cap and glass stopper, 11 cm long

A pair of circular glass perfume bottles, together with another antique perfume bottle, all with sterling silver Collars, height 15 - 18.5 cm

A set of four fluted glass perfume bottles with sterling silver Collars, collars of larger bottles engraved 'MW', 1 bottle with unoriginal stopper, height 14 - 21 cm

Art Deco French 950 silver guilloche enamel mirror, scent bottle jars with clock in walnut case

A 19th century Shagreen cased lady's travelling perfume bottle and note pad set, the narrow dome topped case with green stained shagreen cover, enclosing a fitted interior with two facet cut glass scent bottles, silver gilt screw lids, the ivory notebo

Two cut glass perfume bottles, round form, one with silver lid and tortoise shell inlay, Mappin & Webb Ltd, Birmingham, 1924. The other with enamel lid mounted in brass, non-matching lid. (2)

Scent bottle. Blue glass overlay, repeating wheel cut design, silver top (missing stopper), length 12 cm

Scent bottle. Clichy glass, yellow & white, internal swirl design, silver lid & corkstopper, length 10 cm

Scent bottle. Deco period, blue & clear glass, silver & blue enamel lid, length 8 cm

A large Edwardian cut crystal and silver scent bottle, the cut spherical bottle with embossed hinged cover enclosing original stopper. Chester 1901. Height 15 cm

A 20th century cut crystal and silver scent bottle, the cut spherical bottle with hinged silver cover enclosing original stopper. Height 11 cm

An early 20th century silver and tortoiseshell topped cut crystal scent bottle, the ovoid body with banded and floral engraved decoration, the silver hinged lid with wide circular tortoiseshell inset top with Adams-type silver inlay, enclosing original fit

Pair of sterling silver and cut crystal perfume bottles, hallmarked London 1888

A set of antique perfume bottles and stand, comprising three fitted cylindrical style perfume bottles with silver tops. Sterling silver holder with four squat ball feet. Hallmarked: Birmingham 1909-1911. Maker: Cs & Co.

An Italian silver mounted scent bottle C. 1930, of octagonal tapered facet form with wheel cut floral engraved patterns. Silver neck marked 800 with leaf edging. Facet hexagonal stopper. Height 18 cm.

Two matching silver and cut glass perfume bottles, round form, silver lids with tortoise shell inlay, Birmingham, 1923. Makers mark obscured.

Two Edward VII silver and cut glass perfume bottles, round baluster form, cut glass stoppers (one damaged), silver foliate collars, Cc May & Sons (Charles May), Birmingham, 1907 and Henry Perkins & Sons, London, 1908.

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