Vintage Perfume Collectibles and Memorabilia

Vintage Things for Perfume Lovers to Collect

A vintage perfume lover can never have enough, but there's only so much you can wear at once. Indulge your love of luxurious fragrances from the past with other vintage perfume collectibles and memorabilia, such as vintage perfume atomizers and old magazine ads. Here are nine things for vintage perfume lovers to collect:

  • 01 of 09

    Intact Boxed Sets

    Vintage boxed set of Lanvin Arpege perfume
    Vintage Lanvin Arpege Extrait. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, "Lanvin Vintage Arpege Parfum, 1oz (2)" by Magic Ketchup

    To a vintage perfume collector, finding an intact boxed set is better than spotting cash on the ground. Look for sets with sealed bottles and the accompanying documentation, such as this Lanvin Arpege notice about the new threaded stoppers.

  • 02 of 09

    Old Perfume Bottles

    Vintage perfume bottles, including Raphael Replique (1944)
    Vintage perfume bottles, including a full Replique by Raphael (1944). CC BY-NC 2.0, "Réplique under glass" by Jean-François Chénier / cropped from original

    Thanks to reformulations, today's perfume isn't what it used to be. The new bottles are no prizes either. Antique and vintage perfume bottles were frequently made from heavy cut crystal. Sometimes they were even designed by famous makers such as Baccarat. 

  • 03 of 09

    Vintage Perfume Atomizers

    Art Deco vintage perfume atomizer
    Art Deco Perfume Atomizer. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, "Art deco perfume atomizer" by Glassholic

    Vintage perfume atomizers allowed previous generations to spritz before today's spray bottles became commonplace. You'll find commercial atomizers sold with the brands' fragrances, as well as those crafted to receive any scent.

  • 04 of 09

    Vintage Compacts for Solid Perfumes

    Vintage Chantilly and Elizabeth Arden solid perfume compacts
    Vintage Chantilly and Elizabeth Arden Compacts. CC BY-SA 2.0, "Pair of Vintage Compacts by France1978 / cropped from original

    Even in yesteryear, perfume lovers needed a way to apply fragrance on the go. From luxury fashion houses such as Worth to department store lines like Estee Lauder, perfume makers occasionally offered their fragrances in solid wax form sold in convenient compacts.

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  • 05 of 09

    Specialty Perfume Bottles

    Double-ended vinaigrette perfume bottle
    Double-Ended Vinaigrette Bottle. By Simon Speed (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Specialty perfume bottles are always in demand. The more unusual the design and presentation, the better. The double-ended vinaigrette bottle in the photo was designed to hold perfume on one side and smelling salts in the other.

  • 06 of 09

    Vintage Magazine Ads for Perfume

    1950 magazine ad for Worth perfume
    1950 advertisement for Worth perfume. Apic/ Hulton Archive /Getty Images

    Perfume advertising is both collectible and beautiful. Hand-illustrated perfume advertisements from magazines are often especially striking -- and can legitimately be considered works of art. Why not collect the ones that depicted your favorite fragrances through the years? They look lovely framed and hanging in a bedroom, dressing room, or bath.

  • 07 of 09

    Perfume Trade Cards

    Vintage trade card for Florida Water Perfume, 1881
    Trade Card for Florida Water Perfume, 1881. PD-US / By Lanman & Kemp, New York (Scan of original trade card) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Perfume trade cards came before magazine ads. Trade cards were like the formal calling cards left by visitors, but they advertised a product instead of a guest. The trade card in the photo was designed to promote Florida Water Perfume.

  • 08 of 09

    Antique Perfume Illustrations

    Illustration of Oriza L. Legrand perfume showcase during World Expo 1867.
    Illustration of World Expo 1867 perfume showcase. By Archives Oriza L. Legrand (Archives Oriza L. Legrand) [ CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Perfumery has a long history. Before photographs were possible, perfume-related places and events were sometimes documented in detailed illustrations. The illustration in the photo depicts the product showcase by perfume house Oriza L. Legrand during the World Expo of 1867, which took place in Paris on the Champ de Mars.

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  • 09 of 09

    Perfume Urns and Fountains

    Perfume urn at Caron, Paris
    Perfume urn at Caron, Paris. By Mattias Kristiansson (Own work) [ CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

    Perfume urns and fountains once graced the counters of elegant boutiques and perfume shops. That was typically before commercially bottled perfumes in branded bottles were commonplace. Once you selected your fragrance and your bottle, the shopkeeper decanted it for you.