It’s no secret that vendors of perfume and vanity items play upon our fantasies. This is an occasional series of articles on various youthful fantasies and themes explored through perfume bottles and vanity items.
While the public can view the images for each theme, only IPBA members can link to the detailed information contained in the Virtual Museum. If you want to see more, Join Us Now!
If your collection includes an item that applies to these themes, please submit them to our Virtual Museum, and we will add them to these pages. See Submission Guidelines.
Who are those delightful little creatures that one can never quite get a glimpse of … fairies and nymphs! But in our Virtual Museum, you can examine a number of them!
What is the one thing that we never have enough of? (Other than not enough perfumes, compacts, purses or vanity items …) TIME! So perhaps it’s not surprising that a number of perfume and vanity items have used […]
Shoes, boots or slippers? What’s in your closet? The IPBA Virtual Museum has a wide assortment of shoes of all types – perhaps enough to make Imelda Marcos jealous?
In honor of the USA’s Independence Day on July 4th, we are taking a tour of the USA and its cities, souvenirs, history, climate, flora and fauna via the perfumes and vanity items in our Virtual Museum. The […]
Have you ever dreamt of writing a book? Several of our IPBA members have done just that! A surprising number of perfume and vanity items tout the literary world of books, and the implements used to write them […]
Easter is fast approaching, and what ever happened to the tradition of ladies getting a new Easter Bonnet? Since many of the perfume houses were started by fashion designers and milliners, it’s not surprising that hats feature prominently in […]
It’s that time of year to put on a mask and costume, throw caution to the winds, and go out and celebrate Mardi Gras! Crowds prowl the streets of New Orleans, watching parades, and catching beads and tokens. […]
It’s February, and Cupid on the prowl with his bow and arrow – looking for likely targets. He has shown up in our perfume and vanity items with some regularity over the ages. Take a look at our many […]
Remember cherubs? Those cute, chubby little winged fellows that used to be a ubiquitous theme in the decorative arts? Well, perfumes and vanity items have been decorated with their share of cherubs over the years, so come listen […]
Have you ever attended a cat show? Yes, they really do have cat shows just like dog shows. But our cat show of perfume and vanity item cats is more like a cat parade of both domestic and […]
Have you ever dreamt of traveling to Italy? Want to float in a gondola through the canals of Venice? Hunt for a prized piece of Murano glass? Or perhaps one of those fabulous Italian compacts? Or maybe you’d like […]
I don’t know about you, but one of the “bare necessities” of my life is hunting for that unique perfume or vanity item to add to my collection(s). Come see the results of a “bear hunt” through our […]
Have you ever dreamt of traveling to Spain? Want to visit the cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Avila, and Sevilla? To feel the breezes off the Ebro river? To check out the pottery in the Talavera region? To […]
Have you ever dreamt of being a champion poker player? Winning at the roulette or craps table in Las Vegas? Or just spending an afternoon or evening playing bridge or canasta with friends? Do you know how to […]
In the US, we remember our lost warriors on Memorial Day – the last Monday in May. Given the current bloody war in Ukraine, and the fact that our WW II “greatest generation” is passing away, we are […]
Have you ever fantasized about being a princess or a knight in shining armor? This month we’ll be taking another time travel adventure – back to the Middle Ages to explore castles, visit with the King and Queen, […]
Have you dreamt of traveling back in time to ancient Greece and Rome? To experience those amazing structures in their heyday, that now exist only in preserved ruins? (Well, maybe with what we know now, you might not […]
Have you ever dreamt of traveling to India? India is much more than the home of the Taj Mahal, and Hindu gods with multiple pairs of arms. It was once conquered by the Mughals (Moors), and so features […]
Let’s go back in time to the Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights! What visions come into your head? Sultans in their turbans with ballooning pants and a scimitar tucked into their waist? Maidens with diaphanous veils dancing in […]
Have you ever dreamed of touring the Orient? Seeing the pagodas and temple shrines with their Buddha statues? Participating in a traditional tea ceremony with a beautifully dressed Geisha? Perhaps purchasing a souvenir Chinese dragon, Mah Jongg game, […]
Come be a spectator in the IPBA Horse Show! Horses are used as a motif in perfume and vanity items and their advertising. Can you guess the message being conveyed by each horse? By each rider? Is it […]
Have you ever dreamed of visiting Holland? Seeing the picturesque seaside town, windmills, fields of flowering tulips, and wondering how anyone ever wore those wooden shoes? Take a tour through Holland with us to see those windmills, sailing […]
All dog owners are proud of their dogs, but have you ever considered entering your fur-baby in a dog show? What a fantasy – to walk your dog into the arena, all brushed and fluffed and looking fine, […]
Have you ever dreamt of being an antique car collector like Jay Leno (180 cars and 161 motorcycles), William Harrah (former Reno casino owner who at one time had a museum with 1,450 cars), or Dirk Pitt (fictional […]
Pick one of our pairs of binoculars, and then let’s go birdwatching! In addition to our large flock of doves, we have baby chicks, birds of paradise, bluebirds, budgies, cockatoos, ducks, eagles, flamingos, geese, hummingbirds, kingfishers, ostriches, owls, […]
Have you ever dreamt of traveling to Egypt? Are you inspired by elegant Egyptian-themed perfume bottles? Want to ride a camel, see the Sphinx and the pyramids, maybe even buy a local perfume bottle? We still can’t do […]
Have you ever fantasized about decorating a dollhouse with perfume and vanity items? Two of our IPBA members have actually created them. Helen Farnsworth’s four-story dollhouse is pictured above, and Carol Caslow’s dollhouse is described in detail in […]
Did you ever fantasize about running away to join the circus? If so, our perfume and vanity item circus is for you! It features a trapeze artist, tightrope walker, jugglers, mime, a sword swallower, animal acts, lions, elephants, […]
A tisket, a tasket, what’s in your Easter Basket? There are plenty of bunnies, eggs and chicks, but are they chocolate or perfume?? Come see what’s in our Easter Basket!
Have you ever dreamt of traveling to see the sights of Paris? This is definitely a fantasy as we cannot currently travel due to the pandemic. How about time travel to Paris in the 1920’s? Paris after WW […]
Did you ever wish that cute boy or girl in your class would notice you? Or would ask to be your Valentine? Or wish that your significant other would gift you with a perfume or vanity item Valentine? […]
Did you ever dream of being a ballerina? Or dancing in the New Year at a ball? Unfortunately with the pandemic, we were not able to go to parties and dance in the New Year for 2021 or […]
Boys and girls of all ages (from 1 to 99) have a lot of fantasies and expectations around Christmas and the winter holidays. There is skiing; sledding; decorating the tree and the house; wrapping presents; baking cookies; caroling; […]
Passion can be inspired by both music and perfume. Many perfume bottles, presentations, and perfume advertisements play upon a musical theme. Instruments depicted include pianos, violins, cellos, harps, drums, cymbals, guitar, trumpet, accordion, and more … Did you […]
Were you ever fascinated by bugs as a child? Have you ever stared in wonder at the beautiful patterns on a butterfly’s wings, or the iridescence of the wings of a dragonfly or cicada? Well, a surprising number […]
Many the youth has dreamed of being a marine biologist, exploring the deep blue sea, catching “the big one”, exploring coral reefs, being a sea captain, or hearing the siren song of a mermaid. The following examples from […]
Many a youth has dreamed of studying the stars or exploring space. The following examples from our Virtual Museum explore how perfumes and vanity items play upon these fantasies.