Posted on February 21, 2020

Early European perfume bottles

Europeans used many different containers to store their perfumes. They used glass, gold, silver, porcelain, semi-precious stones and shells. Perfume was commonly used in the form of incense. Some incense burners consisted of a container held from chains. It was swung like a pendulum during Mass in the Christian Church. There were also stationary incense burners used in Churches.

Some perfume containers were designed to be worn. Semi-precious stones held perfumes and were pinned to clothing. Silver earrings were worn that contained perfume soaked fabric inside them. Many containers were designed to be hung around the neck, from a belt, or from a finger ring.

Perfume bottles were handcrafted and designed by artists, jewelers and goldsmiths. Many bottles were designed to be worn, or displayed on a table.

Small wooden boxes were created to hold a sponge soaked with perfume. These boxes would fit inside a pocket and could be taken out and inhaled at any time.

Porcelain was used in the Thirteenth Century. Many highly decorative bottles were created. Boxes were created that included perfume and other essentials. Some boxes contained several bottles of perfumes, a funnel and a mixing dish. “Necessaires” became popular in the eighteenth century, and included everything necessary for having tea.

Most perfumes during this time were sold in inexpensive, plain bottles. The perfume was then transferred into the fancy bottles at home.

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