Reviewed by by Lenore Worth Hiers.
This gorgeous, large “coffee-table” book is a must-have for any collector of commercial perfume bottles. If consists of over 300 pages with 530 beautiful full color photographs.
The author, Ken Leach, is an expert in the field of perfume bottles. He published this book in 1997 but the knowledge contained therein is still current. Ken has received many well-deserved accolades for his expertise and conducts the annual Perfume Bottles Auction in conjunction with the International Perfume Bottle Association, of which he is a longstanding and honored member. In addition he has served as a judge of the annual Fragrance Foundation Recognition Awards.
Special features for the collector, dealer and scholar included within (text taken from the book jacket):
- A brief introduction traces the evolution of fragrance use, and its elevation to propriety and popularity through royal and celebrity endorsement.
- Biographical sketches of 75 companies are provided through facts, anecdotes, and never before seen photographs, providing a rare glimpse of the founders and their personal stories of rags to riches (and sometimes riches to rags), giving insight into the inspiration of their individual “perfume presentation.”
- Innovative artists and major glassmakers including J. Viard, L. Gaillard, Brosse, Baccarat, and Lalique are profiled with numerous examples of their craft brilliantly illustrated in large, detailed photographs.
- The “Collectors Gallery” represents a stunning array of bottles from the sublime to the truly ridiculous, showing the diversity of shapes, colors, materials, and decorative techniques used for over 100 years in the production of “perfume presentation.”
- An index of 16,000 scent names from 3400 companies in 44 countries are identified with dates, gathered into the most complete and comprehensive A to Z format ever assembled.
Among the 75 companies mentioned above are: Arden, Bourjois, Caron, Chanel, Corday, Coty, Dior, Guerlain, Hudnut, Lancome, Lanvin, Ricci, Rubinstein, Schiaparelli, and Worth. Among the many glassmakers included are page after page showcasing their creations.
All-in-all this is a stupendous book that leaves you breathless. Even if you are not a collector of this particular category, you would be thrilled to own this book of gorgeous photographs and in-depth research.