Glass Perfume Bottles
What gift do you buy for the woman who has everything? It's difficult, isn't it, but I think I've come up with the perfect answer; a glass perfume bottle. Preferrably a hand blown, antique glass perfume bottle.
It seems that celebrities from the A to the Z list are all promoting their own perfumes; we are awash with the stuff. There's one thing that these scents all have in common; however prettily packaged in an adorable glass bottle, shaped like a star, or a poodle, or a cutesy little bow - whatever; the one thing they all have in common is that the cap of the bottle is almost always made from cheap plastic. I personally feel this lets the product down, and if I were designing my own celebrity scent (when my book sales have gone stratospheric) I would design a bottle with a quality glass stopper.
Blown Glass Perfume Bottle
However, as I've only made about a quid on book sales so far, you'll all have to wait for my perfume (Eau de dog, with muddy wellie top notes) and buy the lovely lady in your life a perfume designed by a real celebrity.
It's wonderful to receive a perfume gift, but how much more lovely would it be to have that same perfume sitting atop the dressing table in a gorgeous hand blown glass perfume bottle. It would just be so glamourous to be seated at one's boudoir dabbing scent on to one's pulse points with a beautifully crafted glass stopper - very 1930s film actress.
A gift such as this shows that you've taken that little extra care, and who knows, it may spark off the collecting bug. I doubt that many people would be able to afford Lalique straight away, but glass scent bottles are extremely affordable and very pretty. There are plenty of vintage bottles in antique shops and flea markets that would be ideal starter pieces for a collection.
Rene Jules Lalique was born in Ay, France on 6th April 1860. He studied in England and was reknowned for creating stunningly detailed Art Nouveau perfume bottles, vases, Chandeliers and jewellery. Pieces of his work sell for thousands of pounds, and are becoming rarer to find 'on spec'.
There are antique dealers out there with Lalique perfume bottles for sale, but you would easily need to set aside upwards of £3,000.
Styles of perfume bottle vary. some have misters, some have glass dabbers and some may be worn as a broach. They are definitely enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and there are many modern companies selling them now.
Perfume bottles have been found in graves and monuments since man discovered how to blow glass. Often containing precious essential oils, glass was the ideal medium of choice, as is did not corrode and was stable, so not tainting the perfume in any way.
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This is basically the procedure of blowing small puffs of air into a blob of molten glass held on the end of a blow pipe. The raw materials of glass are heated to 1315 C (2400F), and the molten glass appears white hot. The bubbles are allowed to rise out of the glass, which is then put into another kiln and heated to 1100C (200F). The molten glass then appears orange, or red hot, and it is at this stage that the glassblower can blow, shape and mould the glass, using the blow pipe, paddles, tweezers and other equipment.
The glassblower may shape the molten glass by rolling it in their hand which is insulated from the heat by several sheets of wet newspaper.
The finished product is then put into another kiln to anneal, or cool slowly over a few hours or days, depending on the size of the piece, before being finished and polished.
Several glass blowing houses welcome visitors, such as The House of Marbles, Bovey tracey, Devon, which is FREE to enter, and where you may stand around the gallery and watch glassblowers for as long as you wish.
I happen to know that the same glass blowing house produces exquisite perfume bottles, which are shipped around the world.
So go on, give the woman who has everything a gorgeous glass perfume bottle, whether it's new or vintage it will go down a treat. Or at least, it would in this household.