A cheap container speaks volumes to the consumer and what is says is not good, especially if the perfume is touted 'high-end'. Perfumes have long been considered luxury products so it is a shame to see the declining quality of packaging; it hints at the same cheapening of the contents
inside. When niche or exclusive perfumes come to me in cheap packaging, I feel a stab of betrayal. I spent money for something I hope is a magical elixer that will transform me but the packaging rudely wakes me from the dream- it makes me feel that someone might be producing the whole thing in their kitchen sink and printing the label on their ink jet printer- which is definitely not what I want to think about when I'm buying something that to enhance me, seduce me with its mystique.
Today's example: Perry Ellis 360 parfum produced by Parfums Stern, Paris... At first
the bottle appears charmingly unique.
But then I happened upon the bottle shown below while shopping at Passion for Perfumes (see links, where to buy and no I'm not affiliated). Lucien LeLong's Tailspin is housed within a "gyroscopic" bottle nearly identical to the Perry Ellis one. In this case, there is a flat brass topped stopper and dauber, while the Perry bottle has a glass stopper and no dauber. Also the Lelong bottle is an actual gyroscope, while the Perry bottle follows the lines but the entire base of the container is filled with perfume and a small dimple on the bottom allows it to stand up.
The Perry Ellis perfume bottle is pretty but it's not original and knowing it is a copy, makes it even less appealing. The Lelong bottle is much more complicated (the perfume is housed within an inner bottle, so it remains upright while the gyroscope could be rolled across a flat surface) and it seems to be an original design, and therefore it seems more desirable and more luxurious, something one would want to hold, play with and contemplate with each wearing of the perfume. I hope modern perfumers learn the value of luxury and reach out to new designers to create more of the types of bottles that made bottle collecting such a passion for perfume lovers.
I have seen photos of some of the new Guerlains, which come in shockingly plain bottles, despite the little badge at the base, they look cheap to me.... I should not single Guerlain out, they are by no means the only ones, but honestly I would never spend big money on something that comes in a cheap rectangular bottle that could be hair spray, when I can go back into time to have something that was made with care, and is truly fine. Yet some of the modern perfumes smell wonderful, and they deserve the best in bottles as well. If not the future of perfume bottle collecting is going to be very dim indeed.
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.