Us perfumistas/fumeheads/fragonerds/whatever it is we call ourselves are keen followers of the mantra ‘It’s all about the juice’, meaning that we don’t care about the marketing, the bottle or any of the other stuff that comes with a fragrance. We just care about the smell!
It seems that we may differ from the mainstream consumer.
In the mainstream perfume industry the bottle is seen as the key marketing tool for a fragrance. Those of you who watched the recent BBC4 documentary ‘Perfume’ would have seen that in the case of the latest Tommy Hilfiger fragrances (Loud for Him and Her) the bottle and the marketing were the prime focus of the development team and the juice very much seemed like an afterthought.
So how important is the bottle to a perfumista?
I asked my Twitter followers whether they were swayed by the bottle design when purchasing a fragrance. The general consensus seemed to be that no, the bottle doesn’t matter, however an attractive bottle does help. Some even mentioned that if the fragrance was good and the bottle was bad they would decant the juice into something more aesthetically pleasing. We kept coming back to the same conclusion – it’s all about the juice…
I feel that I may buck the perfumista trend slightly, if I love a perfume I will buy it, regardless of whether it has a nice bottle or not. That said, I do like a nice bottle and have on occasions found myself wanting a fragrance because it’s housed in a nice bottle (Hello Lola by Marc Jacob!) I can’t help that I’m drawn to shiny, pretty objects can I?!
There are some brands out there with some really fabulous bottles and in this post I would like to highlight just a few of my favourites.
Thierry Mugler’s avant-garde style has been successfully translated into each and every bottle design. There is something space-age about the designs and they emulate the fantasy of the Mugler brand.
My favourite Mugler bottle is the jewel like bottle for Alien. Like a semi-precious stone mined on some far away planet it perfectly fits the dramatic fragrance inside.
Speaking of drama, bottles do not get more dramatic than Womanity. Womanity stands tall like a pink totem designed by H.R. Giger for the film Alien. It is at once extremely feminine yet it has a definite masculine edge thanks to the metal tattoos and biker chain.
All of the fragrances in the Thierry Mugler line have very different bottles, they aren’t uniformed in any way, shape or form yet they are all recognisably ‘Mugler’.
The Thierry Mugler brand has the best of both worlds; great scents and great bottles. I can’t think of a single Mugler scent where the bottle is better than the fragrance it contains.
Guerlain are as famous for their scents as they are their bottles. From the classic bee bottle to the swirling contemporary design of Insolence, Guerlain have always produced bottles that would look gorgeous on any dressing table. Personal favourites are the new Shalimar flacon by Jade Jagger and the limited edition Baccarat Crystal Mitsouko bottle (pictured above).
Serge Lutens is different from the top two houses because his fragrances are housed in uniformed bottles. I love the sleek design of the Serge Lutens flacon and they all look so neat and tidy lined up against each other. I’ve always thought that the Serge Lutens bottles matches the tall, straight lines of the women featured in his advertising images.
Of course, Mr Lutens is also very well known for his ‘bell-jars’, the bottles which contain perfumes exclusive to his boutqiue in the Palais Royale in Paris. At the very top of this post is a limited edition bell jar of Iris Silver Mist, which depicts the beating heart and veins of Iris and may just be the most beautiful bottle I’ve ever seen.
Another house that employs the use of uniformed bottles is Amouage. Their ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ bottles in a variety of different hues from the stark black of Memoir to the Imperial Jadeite of Epic and the sparse white of Honour display a sense of opulence and luxury. Whilst the bottles hint at the house’s Omani roots, they feel like a good mix of eastern and western design as well as being contemporary yet old worldly.
Do you think it’s all about the juice?
What are your favourite bottles?
Do you like the uniformed bottles of niche lines?
Have you ever been swayed to buy a fragrance because of the bottle?
Image 1 courtesy of the lovely people at Serge Lutens
Image 2 fragrantica.com
Image 3 purefina.com
Image 4 guerlainperfumebottles.webs.com
Image 5 mimifroufrou.com
Image 6 boisdejasmin.typepad.com
Image 7 lambre.by