How important is the packaging for a perfume?

I just prefer a perfume I can spray on, rather than roll or dab, so that’s my only requirement. I find I don’t like most perfume bottles anyway, so packaging has become a nonfactor outside of functionality.

— Christine
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14 Comments

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Swoozy Avatar

I don’t store my perfumes on my vanity – usually in a cupboard – so there’s less of a display factor for me, but I like a spray bottle that is easy to hold and has some eye-catching factor- colored glass, the decorations on so many Guerlain bottles – but not so overwrought that the purchase becomes about the bottle versus the contents. I do like bottles that have a nod to their history – so the traditional shape of a Shalimar bottle for example is a nice touch.

kjh Avatar

Yes. Closet, not out. The aspects you cited. For some the bottle is ‘bespoke’ representative of that fragrance only. The doves on L’Air du Temps and the entwined snakes of Niki de Sant Phalle. There are other ‘artistic’ ones I might like, L’Aromarine , L’Artisan Parfumeur, Nest, Berdoues, maybe Annick Goutal. And of course classic Guerlain with the pediment top. (Unlike your fan-like,fluted Shalimar.) Aside from that approach, just a plain round or square bottled spray, for organized fit in a pull-out container.

C.Blossom Avatar

Bad packaging wouldn’t prevent me from buying something that I love. However, as a designer, I do care. I love great design. I’m always tempted to buy them, even if I dislike the scent. Some bottles I’ll keep after I use up the perfume—Miss Pucci.

Of course, I also buy interesting shoes that I can’t wear, just to be able to look at them. YMMV obvs

Ana Maria Avatar

For me it’s important and non-important at the same time.

I buy fragrances for the way they smell on me. I don’t showcase my collection, so I don’t care if a fragrance comes in the most boring package ever, just a simple bottle, with no label.

On the other hand, I want it to at least be practical. I don’t want bottles that are difficulty to store and hold, bulky packaging or bottles to small to properly use, caps that don’t stay on, sprayers that spit.
And although I couldn’t care less about the aesthetics of the bottle, there are some shapes that I just can’t stand… the Carolina Herrera stiletto bottle, the Jean Paul Gautier Scandal legs and the ones that are shaped like torsos (I think one of the Kardashians launcher a fragrance in a body shape) trigger some sort of visceral reaction just like the lips on Pat McGrath lipsticks. 😅

Gilad Avatar

Yes, functional matters, but beyond that, putting on scent has a ritual, alchemical, fantasy component for me that’s enhanced by the look & feel of the bottle. As I’ve progressed (capitulated?) into buying more expensive scents, It’s an even more essential part of the experience. The name has to work for me too. I have enough perfume now that it takes a long time to finish a bottle, so we’re talking about years of an intimate relationship 🙂 – I want the whole process to reinforce the mood/feeling I’m after, and be a pleasure.

Brian Avatar

My preference would be to like the look of a bottle but really I just dont want something to look or feel “cheap”. Thats really it. But if I love the scent and I’m not going to be too bothered by the price vs the quality of the bottle then it honestly doesn’t matter at all.

Karen Avatar

Chanel girl here. The husband long ago gave me a silver vanity tray which he keeps polished for me. I love the shape of sensual elixir bottle yes it’s gel. Also the hair mist. Currently all that is on my counter. Minimal. And this version is not old lady smell 😘

Chelsea Avatar

Very. It grabs my attention. I hope that I love the scent to justify a purchase. But if I don’t like scent-I won’t buy it. I will however look for an empty bottle of the desired fragrance online. Which is pretty extra.

Nina Avatar

Because I’ve only worn Dior Addict perfume since its birth in 2002, I have purchased over 23 bottles of it. I’ve saved every one. Because of the gorgeous cobalt glass color it’s become a silly highlight in my house. Men and women have said ‘ohhh what’s that glass?’ I think it’s important to protect the juice in a colored bottle so any light won’t damage it. My favorite of all bottles are Guerlain vintage shapes for Jicky and Mitsuko. Elegant.

Lucie Avatar

Moderately important. While I appreciate a well-crafted artistic bottle, it’s not a requirement. My only requirements be that bottle size + spraying mechanism be of a size and quality to be sprayable with one hand easily and that the bottle be able to stand upright on its own. I’ve had bottles be of such awkward size and shape or have some kind of novelty sprayer on it that it’s almost cumbersome to use. And I don’t like bottles that don’t stand upright on their own (ex. Thierry Mugler Angel Muse which I love, but is sitting in a storage box in my closet and not worn as much as I like due to the bottle).

I also do a lot of indie perfume oils and I hate reducer caps, although those are usually easy enough to remove.

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