VICTORIAN DOUBLE-ENDED SCENT BOTTLE
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Victorian Double-Ended Scent Bottle
The history of scent bottles goes back to the Ancient World, and the earliest perfume containers were made out of simple glass, alabaster or stone to hold valuable and scented oils such as musk and frankincense. Early civilizations used perfume as part of their religious rituals through the burning of incense and aromatic herbs at the altars of the gods, and the application of balms and ointments. The knowledge of perfume was brought over to Europe from the Levant by the Crusaders, but it became really fashionable only in the 16th century.
Scent bottles became a decorative art form in their own right in the late 17th century, and were created in a variety of shapes and sizes. They were also manufactured from different materials, although the most common were porcelain, silver or brass, and especially glass, leading to a number of partnerships between perfumers and glass makers.
Victorian ladies often carried their chosen perfume with them, and many scent bottles were designed as jewellery pieces. The practice of wearing tight corsets also regularly caused women to faint, so they also had to carry smelling salts with them. This led to the double-ended perfume bottles to be created, which would contain perfume on one side and smelling salts on the other.