The Art & Technology of Luxury Fragrance Bottles: Not only the Look but the Weight & the Sound Matter...So True {Fragrant Reading}

versace_crystal_noir.jpgA February 2010 article in Cosmetics Business reports about recent trends in fragrance-bottle making and what makes a luxury perfume flacon truly tick. I especially loved the passage where specialists point out to the importance of the feeling of weight and the sound the cap makes when you open it, which all send cues of luxury. Sound-engineering is critical when designing cars for instance, and the noise the door makes when it opens or close is never left to chance. But to go back to perfume, this is oh-so true.

Off the top of my head, the brands that have made me notice these discreet yet fully perceptible details are Dior for its oh-so-smooth spraying system: it feels like butter and the scent vaporizes gently and effectively like a dream; the click of a Chanel Exclusif magnetic cap is truly a sensory experience in privilege; Hermès's push-down cap is ingenuous, unexpected and sleek...

By "luxury" here is meant designer brands, not exceptionally rare bottles made of crystal, encrusted with diamonds and edged in platinum. Did you know that Lancôme Trésor, Calvin Klein Obsession, Crystal Noir by Versace and Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps all use a technology and material called Surlyn, a plastic capable of mimicking a luxury material like crystal, and all the reasons why they should?

""Perfume houses turn to Surlyn because of lower costs but also because of more design freedom," says Cohen. The polymer is easy to mould, allowing designers to attract new customers by experimenting with complex shapes and decorations, something that is very difficult to obtain with glass, [...] Although only caps are made out of Surlyn at this point, the technology could be used to create the entire bottle in a couple of years. This would allow for much more moulding flexibility and for decorations both inside and outside the bottle. It would also lead to the development of more on-the-go luxury, as the bottle would be unbreakable, lighter and safer to transport"

The article also gives insights into the pysche of bottle collectors.

Read more in Fragrance Bottles - The Collectors

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