Objectified: The Perfume Bottle

Objectified: The Perfume Bottle

Ever since Issa Samb invited me to re-think my judgements of mass-produced items, I've been looking at those souvenir stalls and 2 for $5 t-shirt bins differently. I confess to viewing these kinds of objects as meaningless; I acknowledge trivializing their significance as markers of our civilization at this moment in time. I'm grateful his work has forced me to confront these biases. 

But I still think we can do better. I still believe we want more meaning from the objects in our lives. I know I do. Capitalism has proposed quantity and convenience as modern luxury. I object. Quantity and convenience do little to fulfill my need to be emotionally connected to the things around me. In fact, I've observed that quantity and convenience dilute my relationship with things. What I really need isn't a lot of anonymous, disposable objects in my life, but a few special ones that emit a constant pulse of some kind of magnetism each time I interact with them.

What constitutes a special object? Introducing Things of the Internet, a series aimed at inspiring consideration of the physical touch points of our lives. Beyond the obvious eye candy, I'm hoping that by casting the everyday objects around us in a fresh light, we can see each one as an opportunity to infuse a bit of that extra something into our lives. Which is really the definition of luxury, isn't it? Although the series will often feature old objects, the focus here isn't on celebrating the objects of our past, but on envisioning the objects of our future. Starting with our perfume bottles.

 

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19th century French shell perfume set circa 1880 via 1stdibs (somewhat similar here and here)

 

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Early 20th century French pair of glass perfume bottles via 1stdibs 

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Mid-19th Century Russian Imperial porcelain perfume bottle via 1stdibs (somewhat similar here, here and here; on the subject, this porcelain egg perfume chest is cool)

 

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Czech Art Deco glass perfume bottle circa 1930 via 1stdibs

 

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Pair of hand painted crystal glass perfume bottles from the Czech Republic circa 1880 via 1stdibs (somewhat similar here and here)

 

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Pair of glass perfume bottles circa 1910 via 1stdibs (similar here, here, and here)

 

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Bavarian glass perfume bottle with tasseled atomizer via Ruby Lane (similar here)

 

Now practically, there's some work involved in bringing an old perfume bottle back to life, and I'll admit, I haven't figured out exactly how to make this happen. I've read but not confirmed that you can remove traces of the old scent in an antique bottle with rubbing alcohol (and then putting the bottle out in the sun). I have to find a perfumer who will fill an antique bottle for me. If a perfume bottle doesn't have an atomizer, but just a cork or stopper, maybe it could be filled with essential oil? I'm not sure, but where there's a will! 

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