October 27, 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

Around The World With Perfumes - Part 2
Traveling The World
One of the oldest uses of perfume comes from the burning of incense and aromatic herbs for religious services. The aromatic gums of frankincense and myrrh were gathered from trees. It did not take long, though, for people to discover perfume’s romantic potential and it was used both for seduction and in preparation for love-making.

The fragrance associated with the smoke from the burning incense is where the English word "perfume" ("through smoke") comes from.

The rise of Christianity, however, saw a decline in the use of perfume for much of the Dark Ages. It was the Muslim world that kept the traditions of perfume alive during this time and helped trigger its revival with the onset of international trade.
Perfume slowly spread throughout the globe, and for a while, scents were reserved mainly for use in religious ceremonies. However, in 1190, perfume began to be produced commercially in Paris, and from there, it blossomed into a massive industry once more.

We know how perfume is marketed today, but how did the Egyptians tackle the problem? Ancient Egyptian perfume containers were simple when compared to their modern cousins. It was about the fragrance and what it symbolically represented in society. Scent occupied a prominent place at the crossroads of the sacred, therapeutic, cosmetic and culinary worlds. And it would maintain this position throughout the middle ages, regardless of the civilization in question. 
Vantine's Kutch Sandalwood
(1919) New York, USA
Giviemme Subdola
(1921) Milan, Italy

In Europe, smell marked a social division until the arrival of the English hygienist revolution in the 18th century. Personal cleanliness was promoted leading to the development of lighter fragrances. Meanwhile, the perfumers' palette was enriched with new raw materials imported by the East India Company. Advances in chemistry questioned disinfection measures using strong scents.

18th century Europe also underwent a transformation in terms of commerce, moving from glove-making to perfumery. The 19th century saw a change in this artisanal activity, which became powerfully industrial.
Modern perfumery began in the late 19th century with the first use of synthetic products. Based on discoveries of odorant products through research in organic chemistry brought together with irreplaceable natural products from advanced technologies, a whole new approach to perfumery was created. 

Rosine - Le Minaret
(1913) Paris, France
Laysan - Flor del Bosque Perfumeria Granada, Spain - Moorish design wooden marquetry (taracea) box
With the arrival of Eau de Cologne, 18th century France began using perfume for a broad range of purposes. They used it in their bath water, in poultices and enemas, and consumed it in wine and drizzled it on lumps of sugar.
MDCI - Invasion Barbare (2005)
Classical design inspired by the French & Italian Renaissance
A. Ancel Eau de Cologne de L' Empereur
Paris, France
Mizpah Cologne (1951) Parfums De Leon. Crown Collections, Los Angeles, CA USA
Vantine's hand embroidered compact crafted between 1917 and 1921. Vantine vanity cases were hand decorated and embroidered in silk, lame' and satin. They were produced and sold directly from their New York store or from their successful mail order business.. 

Each case was one of a kind. Except for the Vantine's name printed on the powder puff, there are no markings on them.

Incidentally, company catalogues describe hand embroidered compact boxes being available for mail order as late as 1924.
Lengyel - Hungary Water (1920's)
Glass bottle clad in hand laced leather, cork stopper. 7" tall


The first modern perfume, Hungary Water, was made of scented oils blended in an alcohol solution in 1370 at the command of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary.

Happy Halloween

Halloween is the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows' Day (also known as All Saints' or Hallowmas) on November 1, and All Souls' Day on November 2, thus giving the holiday on October 31 the full name of All Hallows' Eve (meaning the evening before All Hallows' Day).

The history of Halloween goes way back to the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

Hundreds of years ago, people dressed up as saints and went door to door, which is the origin of Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating.
Many Christians believe that participating in Halloween is a form of involvement in worthless deeds of evil and darkness, which is forbidden in Scripture: Ephesians 5:7-15. Don't participate in the things these people do.

Halloween is now a pretty secular holiday, but its origins are in the Catholic religion. Some Christians believe the holiday is associated with Satanism or Paganism, so are against celebrating it. Orthodox Jews don't celebrate Halloween due to its origins as a Christian holiday.

Like many modern day festivals, Halloween is an opportunity to commercialize to a target audience.

Above are two Vintage Halloween Postcards.
Here are some examples of spooky, bewitching and Halloween themed artifacts.
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Eau de Toilette for Men & Women (2012)
Christian Audigier Inspired by the best known symbol of the brand...the skull and rose tattoo.

Silver necklace with compact, spiders and spiderweb adorn the top side. Inside original powder, puff and mirror.
Estratto Cipro, Cantele Padova, 1930s, Italian
1930s Czechoslovakian black crystal perfume bottle and stopper,adorned with gold enamel spiderweb and jeweled spiders on faux jade disc.
Election Time in the USA
The symbols of the Republican and Democratic Parties are an Elephant and a Donkey, respectively. The Republican Party color is Red, and the Democratic Party is Blue. But as a nation, we are very proud to carry Red, White and Blue, the colors of our flag.

Depression Glass Elephant and Donkey Powder Jars / Trinket Dish. These jars were frequently sold to distributors of commercial cosmetics who used the jars for their face powders.

Manufactured by The Jeanette Glass Company in the USA, 1940s - 1960.
In the US, every four years we have the privilege of voting for our next President.  The first election was held in 1788, making George Washington the first president elected into office. 

United States electoral politics has been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic. Since the 1850s, they have been the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

Periodically there have been additional parties that have formed over time - Green Party, Libertarian Party, Independent Party, and the Tea Party most recently. Some people will share if they are Republican, Democrat or Independent which are the most common ones.
Among many give-a-ways produced for the 1960 John F. Kennedy presidential campaign, was this half ounce bottle of "Jacqueline Kennedy" perfume.
Lovely Patchouli by Krigler was considered to be Jacqueline Kennedy's favorite perfume.
So how do we decide our political affiliation? Are we swayed by family, media, or political talk shows?

Or is it possible our vote went to the candidate who promoted the best aromatic cologne or provided us with the prettiest enamel campaign compact?

Perfume Passage has a collection of political campaign souvenirs that are perfume and vanity related on display throughout the galleries. 

We are not re-open yet for tours, but the museum's political vanity items will be a must see during a future visit!
Presidential line up of Strike Gold After Shave Splash: Old Hickory, Teddy, Ike, Nixon and The Gipper
Strike Gold Shave, Grovetown, Georgia, (2019)

Erasmic "Go On Sammies" 1917 perfume.

Molded colorless blown glass with a cylindrical oval section in the shape of a medallion, high neck with cork stopper. Label shows a portrait of President Woodrow Wilson. The ribbon in the colors of the United States.  Perfume commemorating the entry of the United States into WWI in 1917, "Sammies" was the name the French gave to the American soldiers. 
The Nixon Presidency

Watergate was a political scandal involving the administration of President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1974 that led to Nixon's resignation. It stemmed from the administration's cover ups over its involvement in the 1972 break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office Building in Washington DC. Those events led to the production of many souvenir items, including mugs, plates and of course, cologne!
Nixon Parfum Sharelle "The Scent of Victory" front and side label
1940s Volupte powder compacts in support of opponents Willkie and Roosevelt. Willkie was an industrialist, political leader and president of the Commonwealth and Southern Corp., a giant utility holding company. Although a Democrat, Willkie became a leading spokesman of business interests opposed to the New Deal of President Roosevelt. He enrolled as a Republican in 1940 and in that year was nominated by the Republican Party for the presidency. Although defeated in the election, he received more than 22 million votes.
Barack Obama Cologne by Parfums Deray, was inspired by his historic election
as the 44th President. It is a clean and refreshing blend of aquatic notes.
Enamel telephone dial shaped powder compacts were 1952 and 1956 political souvenirs for Republican Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower, the 34th President, was in office for two terms from 1953-1961. In both the 1952 and 1956 elections, Stevenson was defeated in landslides by Eisenhower.
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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