August 9, 2020
Perfume Passage Foundation is dedicated to preserving the history, beauty, and artistry of perfume bottles, compacts, ephemera and related vanity items. The Foundation seeks to educate and inspire visitors by illuminating the connection between perfume and the human experience

Dog Days of Summer
Silverplate beauty boxes were popular in the 1930s. Most were made by the Weidlich Bros. company from Bridgeport, Connecticut. The boxes included sections for rouge, powder and lipsticks and were intended to sit on a ladies vanity. The lids usually included deco ladies or animals. Dogs of every breed can be found on these collectibles.
The Back Story

The Dog Days don't take their odd name from weather that isn’t fit for a dog or extreme heat that "drives dogs mad."

The background is celestial and refers to the 30-60 days in which the Dog Star (also known as Sirius and Alpha Canis Majoris) rises and sets with the sun. It shines during the daylight hours and then stays hidden at night. It is the most prominent star in the constellation Canis Major (Latin for Greater Dog) and that's where the term Dog Days of Summer originates.

The Dog Star’s connection to pups and pooches, was not only confirmed by the constellations, it was also enhanced as dogs really do seem to take the brunt of the heat during the Dog Days. They often suffer from the high temperatures more intensely than their owners and are actually at a greater risk of death.
People have been complaining about the weather for centuries and knowing the history of the Dog Days might make us understand them a little more as the sweat rolls down our foreheads.
1920s dog owner sprays her pooch with perfume before a dog show.
In addition, dogs are part of our pop culture.  Think of the poodle skirt and dog collars. Pups have also been the focal point of movies and presidents!
This rare Schuco dog compact has a hinged belly that opens to reveal the powder compact with puff.  In 1912 Heinrich Schreyer and Heinrich Muller established the toy company "Schreyer and Co." in Nuremberg, Germany. The company changed its name to Schuco in 1921 (a derivation of Schreyer and Co). The company also made furry monkeys and bears that contained either a compact or perfume. 
One of the most famous presidential pets, Fala, traveled with president Franklin D. Roosevelt everywhere. He knew how to perform tricks and the media frequently mentioned the dog.  Fala outlived the President by seven years and was buried near him. 
The Checkers speech was a public address made on September 23, 1952, by California Senator Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate for Vice President. Nixon had been accused of improprieties relating to a fund established by his backers to reimburse him for his political expenses.

He delivered a half-hour television address in which he defended himself, attacked his opponents, and urged the audience to contact the Republican National Committee to tell it whether he should remain on the ticket.
During the speech, he stated that he intended to keep one gift, regardless of the outcome: a black-and-white dog that his children had named Checkers, thus giving the address its popular name. 

Every year, September 23 is designated National Dogs in Politics Day, which is also known as Checkers Day. (Photo of Nixon and Checkers relax at home from National Geographic).
The depiction of man's best friend continued in all aspects of perfume and vanity items as companions, animated characters and symbolic statuesque relics.
Vintage postcards can be found with images of dogs using perfumes and powder puffs.
Nostalgia is a fragrance introduced by Germaine Monteil in 1941.
Dog figures were part of the rare Estee Lauder solid perfumes "Ivory series."
The Azuree Imperial (left) was introduced in 1974 and
the Cinnabar Imperial Dog was introduced in 1984.
There are many dogs in movies such as Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, and even Asta the wire fox terrier (dog actor) who appeared in dozens of movies during the 1930s. His real name was Skippy and he played the role of Asta in the 1934 detective comedy "The Thin Man," starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Due to his popularity, many compact manufacturers began using terriers on their powder compacts in the 1930s.

The use of dog as a descriptor is perfectly exemplified in these films.

Reservoir Dogs, a 1992 crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film tells the story about a heist that goes wrong when one of the thieves actually turns out to be an undercover policeman.

A "reservoir dog" is a slang term for someone who snitches to the police or is an undercover police officer themselves. The name comes from the large size rats living in and around reservoirs. 
Rusty: A Dog's Tale, a 1998 family film starring Hal Holbrook and Rue McClanahan. Rusty (another dog actor) decides to save children and puppies in this cute, impossible-to-dislike movie (picture left).

Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 biographical crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet. It starred Al Pacino and chronicled the events following a bank robbery committed by Pacino's character Sonny Wortzik (picture right).
Dogs in the Collection
A variety of Estee Lauder solid perfume dogs. 
1956 Christian Dior J’appartiens a Miss Dior (I belong to Miss Dior) created to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the House of Dior. Designed by Fernand Guérycolas, it depicts the Maltese Bichon of Christian Dior; sitting on his hind legs, the front ones raised. He is dressed in his bow and wears his medal in metallic gold paper, the base appearing as a cushion.

He is presented in his cardboard box sheathed in satin and trimmings simulating a gloriette in Louis XVI style. Limited edition of 170 copies, each with its numbered and signed label. Bottle height: 7.28” (18,5 cm), Box height: 16.5” (42 cm) 
Displayed in Perfume Passage's Vault gallery, this 8” American Brilliant cut glass perfume bottle with a screw off sterling dog head with glass eyes has English hallmarks, dating it to 1896.

Hallmarked 1884, this cut crystal English perfume bottle has a screw off dog head. It measures 4” tall.
In the 1930s, French comic strip artist Pol Rab was well-known for his comical dog illustrations. The Scottie dog was Rac and his Terrier partner was Ric. The dogs, wearing collars with their name tags, are inset on this 4” faux wood-looking plastic powder compact (pictured above).

On the right are other dog themed compacts.

Chicago's Allen B. Wrisley company was established in 1862 and incorporated in 1895. They sold toiletries including soaps, colognes, bath salts, face creams, powders and perfumes. These ceramic dog bath salts are from the 1940s and the bulldog still has the original company label on the bottom.
Pictured above is a 1920-30s Potter & Moore Dismal Desmond frosted spotted glass dog perfume. It has a tag that says "Dismal Desmond, Ugly But Lovable." The label says Devon Violets, Potter & Moore, Wynne Tighe & Son, Chemists, Exeter. Dismal Desmond was created around 1926 by Ian Hassall, who was the son of John Hassall, a famous illustrator. Desmond products included salt/peppers, children's dishes, celluloid toys, posters and postcards. The Dismal Desmond bottle measures 3-1/4" x 1-3/4".
Dogs were incorporated by DeVilbiss in their perfume lamps and atomizers.

Zoot Suit Dog pictured left.

Remove the hats on these 6" ceramic figures to access "Hot Date" aftershave! Manufactured by J. Jacobs & Co. from San Francisco in the 1970s. A penguin and cat were made in addition to this zoot suit wearing dog.

Figural scent bottle in the shape of a Greyhound. French, white porcelain, 5 1/2" (14cm) long. Moulded, showing ribs and long thin features with detail to the folds of head, eyes and ears. The neck is held in a hinged metal band.
Dog spraying atomizer perfume in the face of another dog - German post card. 
Dachshund puppies playing.
Coming Up In Our Next Issues
Journey Around the World

As our homes and neighborhoods have been on lockdown for several months, the itch to wander hasn't stopped for most of us. We know exploring fragrances and beauty items through our collections is the next best thing.

We will travel the world in the next few newsletters. The best part is, no passport required.

1933 Lionceau "Arc-en-Ciel" perfume bottle with box. Bottle height 5" (12.5cm) tall.
We Look Forward to Seeing You Once We Safely Open Again

Located in the Chicagoland area, the Perfume Passage Foundation is 38 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and 25 miles from O'Hare International Airport.

Types of tours include:

  • Private docent-guided tours
  • Group tours
  • Symphony of Scents and Sounds