Design’s Essence: Contemporary Perfume Bottles

Perfume bottles were some of the earliest glass vessels. Made to contain precious essences, artists began to craft containers that were stunning examples of decorative indulgence, becoming luxury goods in their own right.

Many artists of the Studio Glass movement drew from glass’s association with the perfume bottle to make both a sellable and experimental design item as they honed their craft. These include Brent Kee Young, John Kuhn, and Thomas Buechner, founding director of the Corning Museum of Glass.

Sixteen stunning contemporary examples of perfume bottles were donated to the museum in 2023 by Edwin J. Simon in loving memory of his wife, Helene Lazar Simon. Along with other bottles from the FWMoA’s collection, this small display serves as a bridge between glass’s long history and the contemporary Studio Glass movement.