Welcome!

Please understand that this website is not affiliated with any of the perfume companies written about here in any way, it is only a reference page and repository of information for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

One of the goals of this website is to show the present owners of the various perfumes and cologne brands that are featured here how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back these fragrances!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the fragrance, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories, what it reminded you of, maybe a relative wore it, or you remembered seeing the bottle on their vanity table), who knows, perhaps someone from the company brand might see it.

Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Buying Vintage Perfumes

If you are a buyer or new collector of vintage perfume bottles, please read the following tips:

Be sure to pick up some of the great books devoted to vintage perfumes. My favorites are:

Types of bottles:


Decide on what types of perfume bottles you would want in your collection. Would you like to collect atomizers, how about a collection of only DeVilbiss examples, or you can add the fabulous Czech atomizers, or other fine examples by Volupte, Apollo, Irice, Marcel Franck, Pyramid and Aristo.


Do you like the pretty Czech crystal perfumes? In my opinion the most elegant pieces have jewels and filigree accents that look stunning when grouped together on a vanity or in a curio cabinet. There are many types of Czech perfume bottles such as mini purse flacons, jeweled and filigree examples, cut crystal with large intaglio stoppers, tiara style bottles, Irice minis with jeweled dangles as well as atomizers.


Are you interested in collection commercial perfumes? Do you prefer a certain perfume house such as Guerlain or Coty? Do you wish to collect the bottles with the fanciest labels? Do you like the Art Nouveau labels the best? Or would you rather collect Art Deco flacons?

Manufacturers:


Want to collect Lalique, Baccarat perfumes or other art glass pieces? Some of the finest perfume bottles were manufactured from 1900-1930s. Satin glass perfumes have a certain ethereal quality about them. Cameo glass pieces are scarce and highly collectible as are the iridescent pieces by Loetz, Steuben and Tiffany. Look above to read about other manufacturer's of art glass perfumes. Ask your seller what markings are on the base, and for photos of the markings.


Miniatures:

Miniature perfumes are generally under 3" tall. Micro minis are under 1" in height. Fragrance miniatures were often sold along with larger bottles by the manufacturers as gift with purchases and may have the words "Gift Not For Resale" on them.

If you are looking to collect perfume bottles but don't have much space to store them or display them, then perhaps you should collect the miniatures! They don't take up too much space and they are easily displayed on shelves, in curio cabinets, and other places. There are so many different brands of perfumes, that you could have hundreds of minis to choose from for your collection. It is also nice to collect the different sizes of bottles and include the mini as well!

Sellers of perfume miniatures like myself, do not test out the perfumes and do not sell them for the fragrances contained in their bottles as these are old and most of the time they have turned and are no longer wearable. These are better suited for your collection rather than your fragrance wardrobe.

Miniatures are also perfect inexpensive ways to try out highly coveted vintage perfumes rather get stuck with disappointing blind buys and costly mistakes. Miniatures are often very affordable options and you can sometimes buy them in lots on ebay or etsy for little money. Plus you can turn around and swap them or sell them when you're done with them. I try to buy these boxed as much as possible as the boxes help preserve the scent better as they keep the bottle from being exposed to strong light.


Condition:


Try to buy bottles in the best of condition. Bottles in the best shape retain their value.If you find a rare bottle, such a Lalique one, a minor chip or nick shouldn't be too devaluing. Are the labels present? Is their gilding on the bottle? Is it worn? Sometimes crystal perfumes have little fleabites and nicks along the mouth of the bottle, this was most likely caused from the stoppers being taken out and put back in over time, and is usual wear. Some collectors prefer to buy sealed bottles full of juice. I find that it completes the presentation, shows off the bottles nicely, and looks gorgeous.


Make sure the stopper and the base go together. Every now and then, I see a base paired with a stopper for a different perfume. Another good tip is if the base of the perfume bottle has a incised number, chances are your stopper should have this same number, if it does, you know your stopper was specifically ground to fit your base at the factory. This was a frequent occurrence with older French bottles.


Valuable Extras:

Does the perfume have its original box? Boxes can add significant value to the perfume bottles..


Contents. If you are searching for that long lost or discontinued perfume of your memory such as Styx by Coty. Please remember that perfumes over 7-10 years start to lose their freshness and may start to smell like alcohol. The older the perfume, the less it may smell like what you may remember. I have had some buyers purchase vintage perfume and say that it stinks, I politely mention that the perfume is blah blah blah years old and is no longer fresh. I make a point of putting this in my description. If you are looking to buy fresh smelling perfume, don't buy vintage or antique!


Buy what you like!

Try to buy perfume bottles that you enjoy looking at or you find beautiful. These will give you the most pleasure as they would no doubt be in your display cases, vanity, or wherever you choose to display them. I wouldn't advise in following trends. If you like Lalique perfume bottles, by all means, collect them, they are gorgeous! They can be expensive though, so if you have a budget, you may want to buy some less expensive ones.

Age:


How old is your bottle? If you are unsure about the age of a perfume bottle, always ask the seller. Always ask your seller any questions you may have about the perfume bottle. You should also do some research on your own in case you have any doubts. Or, you can ask me through my appraisal service or check thru any of my guides on vintage perfumes.

Photos:

Always inspect the pictures carefully as in most cases, they tell the true condition of the bottle. If you need a better picture, ask your seller, they will most likely send you one. If you are unsure about condition based on a poor or blurry photo, always ask about condition before bidding!

If you are buying a commercial bottle and are worried about whether you will recieve a recent reformulation rather than the highly coveted vintage being listed, ask your seller if you are getting the same bottle pictured in the photo or if it is only a stock photo.


What's The Difference Between Perfume & Cologne?


Parfum: also called extrait, parfum classic, extrait de parfum or extract, is the highest concentration of perfume. A perfume may contain 20-30 percent oils and high grade alcohol, and a slight amount of water. Vintage Parfums can often contain at least 22-40 percent essential oils. Due to the high concentration of essential oils. Parfum can last 7 to 24 hours on the skin. Parfum is the most expensive type of perfume. Any mixture lower in oils is known as an eau.

Eau de Parfum: also known as Esprit de Parfum, Secret de Parfum, Millesime, or Parfum de Toilette, is composed of 10-15 percent of essential oils with a slightly weaker alcohol and water mix. Vintage Eau de Parfum, Esprit de Parfum, or Parfum de Toilettes were often made up of 15-20 percent essential oils and were highly concentrated. Eau de Parfums usually last about 4-8 hours.

Eau de Toilette: also called toilet water, is a much thinner dilution of the same materials, containing approximately only 4-10 percent of essential oils, in an even weaker alcohol and water mixture. Vintage Eau de Toilettes often can contain up to 5-15 percent essential oils and were much more concentrated than modern formulas. Eau de Toilettes usually last about 3 hours. Meant to be splashed or sprayed throughout the day to freshen up. Perfect for wearing during daytime, or during the warmer months or warmer climates.

Eau de Cologne: for men or women, or aftershave, is further diluted, about 3-5 percent of essential oils, in an even still weaker alcohol and water mix. Usually lasts about 2 hours. Meant to be liberally splashed or sprayed throughout the day to freshen up. Perfect for wearing during daytime, or during the warmer months or warmer climates.

Eau Fraiche: this is the weakest form of fragrance on the market, a light toilet water similar to cologne or splash usually with 1-3 percent of essential oil in water and a higher grade of alcohol. Usually lasts for less than an hour. Meant to be liberally reapplied throughout the day. Perfect for wearing during daytime, or during the warmer months or warmer climates.

Voile de Parfum: also known as Eau Parfumée, Voile d'Été, Eau Sans Alcool, Brume de Parfum, Perfume Mist, is a non-alcoholic fragrance diluted with water and about 3-8 percent essential oils. Typically used to be worn during the warmer months at the beach or in warmer climates.

Natural Spray: is a fragrance that uses a non-aerosol pump to emit a fine mist.

Bath Oils: a combination of fifteen percent essential oils blended with mineral oil, lanolin, or other fatty oils of plant origin.

Shipping:


If your seller deals with fragrance, they should know how to pack and ship your bottle, but if you have special instructions on shipping your perfume, as a courtesy please email the seller first to make sure they will do this for you, so there are no surprises at the end of the auction or sale.

In exceptional circumstances, it is possible for a sealed bottle to leak during air transportation. This leak is caused by the difference in air pressure in the airplane cabin during the flight. I pack my bottles very carefully, providing additional protection to stoppers and bottle necks and as a precaution cover labels with foil/plastic and tape. Spilled perfume may cause damage to a label, a box or something else in the package so be sure to speak with your seller to ensure that they take the proper precautions to help prevent this before shipping.

By all means, purchase insurance if you buy a perfume on ebay, etsy or anywhere else online. Just in case the bottle get damaged or lost in the mail, you can at least file a claim with the post office. The perfume bottle is your investment so protect it! If you do not see insurance offered, ask your seller if it can be purchased before shipping.

Be sure to contact your seller right away if anything should happen to your perfume bottle after shipment.  Save all packaging and the damaged item. Take plenty of photos for your seller too. The United States Post Office will NOT accept insurance claims for packages missing or stolen upon completed delivery. Once USPS makes a final delivery scan, your seller is not responsible for items missing from the delivery location. No refunds or reimbursement are required to be granted by the seller in this scenario. The buyer will be responsible for filing any claims with their homeowners insurance and/or making a report with local authorities.



Buyer Beware!


Remember that you are buying a used item and as a vintage item it will never be as brand new. If you are searching for that long lost or discontinued perfume of your memory...old perfumes do deteriorate with age.

Perfumes over 3-10 years start to lose their freshness and may start to smell like alcohol. Certain ingredients and compounds will break down and "turn" faster than others. The older the perfume, the less it may smell like what you may remember. Most fragrance sellers won't let you return an old perfume, and many sellers have disclaimers in their shops or listings.


Let's examine the DNA of a vintage perfume and how it ages.

The top notes of the perfume, the notes you first smell usually deteriorate the fastest. Some of these are:

  • Citrus scents such as bergamot, tangerine, yuzu, neroli, grapefruit, lemongrass, verbena, citron, petitgrain, orange, lemon and lime.
  • Synthetic chemicals such as aldehydes, ozone and aquatic (marine) notes 
  • Fresh, delicate florals like lily of the valley, iris, orchid, violet, osmanthus, and , cyclamen, freesia, lilac, wisteria, peony, narcissus. 
  • Fruits: raspberry, litchi, strawberry, apple, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, pear, peach, guava, apricot, watermelon, coconut


However, after the top notes wear off, the middle and base notes are often still fragrant and good smelling. Examples of heart/middle notes:

  • Dark fruits such as raisins, plums, cherry, prunes, blackcurrant, fig, mulberry. 
  • Heavier and more pungent floral scent such as rose, jasmine, orange blossom, carnation, geranium, ylang ylang, frangipani, heliotrope, tuberose and gardenia often fare better than their lighter counterparts found in the top notes. 
  • Also vegetables and herbs such as celery, carrot, lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, mint, basil, angelica


Base notes often remain in the best condition. These were used as fixatives to make a perfume last longer and have the best shelf life.

  • Precious woods: sandalwood, macassar, oud, cedarwood, palisander, rosewood, cypress
  • Plants, roots and grasses: tobacco, orris, vetiver, oakmoss, patchouli, violet leaves, juniper, heather, wormwood, anise, caraway, ginger, pepper, 
  • Spices: cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cardamom, cumin
  • Resins and balsams: frankincense, myrrh, opoponax, olibanum, and copal, styrax, galbanum, tolu, Peru, cistus labdanum, vanilla, tonka, benzoin. 
  • Animalic notes such as leather, civet, ambergris, musk and castoreum.


If you are looking to buy fresh smelling perfume, please don't buy vintage or antique as in most cases the scent will have changed!

How a fragrance was stored will affect how it smells today. If the fragrance was stored in a cool, dark place, it should have fared well. But, since many people who sell perfumes today, such as myself, we often get perfumes second-hand - through auctions, estate sales, yard sales, thrift shops, friends and family or other venues. I cannot vouch for how a perfume was stored before it came into our hands, so buyer beware. I try to tell my buyers if a perfume has soured top notes, etc right in the listing.


PERFUME REFORMULATIONS

Please take into account that perfumes often go through reformulations over the years due to rising perfume ingredient costs or regulations (such as IFRA) on allergens or chemical toxicities, and may not smell exactly the same as what you remember. These reformulations are not always disclosed to the public and I or another seller may have no way of knowing whether a perfume has been reformulated or not. Packaging and bottle changes are often clues that there has been a reformulation, but not always.




Other Useful Tidbits:

  • Buy new releases that you like
  • Buy a second early bottle of new releases you like - maybe more
  • Buy fragrances that are currently being discontinued
  • Buy discontinued scents when there is a "dump" to discounters
  • Buy first formulations, especially if you hear reformulation rumors
  • Buy other people's old bottles
  • Buy clearances when new packaging sends older packaging to discounters
  • Buy HTF (hard to find) fragrances whenever you find them
  • Buy from discounters (online & offline retailers) who routinely send older bottles


Concerning Counterfeits:


Don't get duped into buying a fake fragrance, follow my advice on how to prevent buying fake Chanel perfume here. or other perfumes.



When all is said and done have fun treasure hunting!!!

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