I have been collecting perfume bottles for more than 20 years now, and one of the main things people ask me about my collection is that they want to smell the perfumes.  Although this is natural to want to smell the aroma that is inside each bottle, most of the times the true nature of the collecting is the bottle itself.

I have noticed that most perfumes have a shelf life of about 15 – 20 years, after this time they will most likely change in color and will become less liquid as the alcohol in the perfume evaporates.  I asked a friend to translate some German text that acompanied an 18 year old Thierry Mugler Angel 1999 Big Bang limited edition bottle, and the first thing she said about the perfume is that “it no longer works”.

From a collector’s point of view, any remaining trace of the original perfume is a good thing, a bottle will always look better filled with the orangey and yellow liquid that brings a sense of luxury to a bottle, because an empty bottle, basically looks empty…

Sometimes we do not have a choice and find that rare bottle we have been searching for and it has been washed!  This is the main reasons I prefer to fill up my antique bottles with perfume formula.  I am not sure if there are different types of food colorants, so I cannot guarantee that this mixture will not stain the glass in like 20 years, I sure hope not.  I have been using this mixture for about a year and no staining has occurred.

 

How to make colored perfume formula to fill vintage bottles with.

Gold Metallic Thread that seals the stopper.

The other thing that has happened to some of my bottles, most of them have never been opened or used, and even those have evaporated over time and some of the strings became untied on the stopper closure.  The re-sealing of this metallic thread is a simple process that anyone can do.  Again a filled bottle with gold thread looks so much better than an opened bottle that is empty.

Traditionally master perfume craftsmen would seal a bottle first with a fine membrane of animal origin, called a baudruche, to protect the perfume from evaporating.  It looks like a fine parchment of paper which seal is broken when one opens the perfume.

This post “Perfect Seal : The Art of Baudruchage” perfectly explains the process. Some perfumeries like Chanel, Lalique, and Guerlain still use this.  I think it will be a while since I try this artform on my own bottles.

 

How to re tie or lace gold metallic thread over Perfume bottle stopper.