May 29, 2023
A Note From The Founders...S

Happy Memorial Day!

Our parents both had long-lasting marriages and we've been together for 30 years and married for six years!

Weddings and marriages hold a special place in our hearts and since May is considered the start of wedding season, we thought it was appropriate that this PassageWAY issue focus on the variety of perfumes and vanity items that include love, wedding and marriage themes that are on display throughout the galleries!

It's interesting to note how many fragrances were created by manufacturers specifically for brides and grooms.

Perhaps you remember what perfume or cologne you wore on your special day?


Jeffrey and Rusty, Co-founders
Marian & Jasper Sanfilippo
Wedding Picture July 14th, 1956
Wedding History...
What once began as financial transactions with guests as witnesses, making them legitimate contracts, weddings have evolved into elaborate celebrations regardless of culture, religion or tradition.

The earliest wedding is said to have taken place over 4000 years ago and before that, families were considered groups of about 30 people with several leaders and shared partners.

Because growing food and producing children were vital to survival, rituals involving grains were part of early wedding ceremonies. The tossing of rice along with bridal bouquets were used as a way to ask the gods for prosperous crops and successful births.
A bride's bouquet was often made of a variety of herbs and spices meant to promote fertility, but used to not only ward off evil spirits but also the smell of non-hygienic guests!

Wedding rings were part of early ceremonies and the first known examples were from ancient Egypt, made out of braided or woven reeds and leather.

This young gentleman holding a flower bouquet is a perfume lamp. He is anxiously waiting for his bride at the altar.
Since there are so many traditions that are part of modern day weddings, we thought it would be fun to share our vanity items that relate to the most popular traditions!
What's Love Got To Do With It...
Researchers have scanned the brains of those who are madly in love. They found a heavy surge of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain's reward system that helps people feel pleasure. Dopamine, along with other chemicals, gives us that energy, focus and obsession that we feel when we're wild about someone!

As collectors, of course we're wild about our perfumes and compacts, especially those that are all about love.

The Elgin American company made many heart shaped compacts, including these (left) that were featured in their 1949-50 catalog.

Estee Lauder produced nearly 20 different heart shaped powder compacts, all were appropriate gifts for a bride to give her bridesmaids. Many included enameling or rhinestones.

The rhinestone compacts below are both called "With Love" and date from 2005 and 2007. The center enamel heart shaped is from 2001 and is called "All Heart."
Nina Ricci perfumes can be found in Lalique heart shaped bottles including the 1973 Farouche and the 1946 Coeur Joie. Perfect scents to wear on your wedding day!
With This Ring...
Engagement and weddings rings have always symbolized commitment, love and devotion. In the past, wedding rings signified a promise or contract between a couple and their two families. They were even considered as a token that showed the man's promise was as “good as gold."

Compact manufacturers also used the ring symbol on several collectible compacts, including on the 1940s Volupte Golden Gesture hand shaped compacts.
How about actually wearing a ring that's a ladies compact? In 1925, Woman's World magazine advertised that "These convertible vanities are the smart thing now!" Cost was $1.50 and a ring that had a watch face was also available.
Elgin American made this enamel powder compact in the 1950s with bells, ribbons and bluebirds holding wedding rings!
In 1938, Varva introduced a trompe l’oeil perfume bottle in the shape of a pearl ring in a box. The pearlized glass perfume bottle sat inverted in a silver tone Bakelite ring setting flanked by two faux baguette diamonds.
I do...
The Declaration of Consent, also known as the “I Do’s” is when the bride and groom legally agree to be married.

So when planing to "tie the knot," the wedding vows can vary depending on culture and religion. Vows, as we know them, originated from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), published in 1549 was written by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Although edited over the years, the book continues to be a main source of proper procedures and prayers that follow not only wedding ceremonies, but also baptisms, funerals, confirmations and communions.
Chantilly by Dana is a floral fragrance for women, introduced in 1941. This 1940s advertisement featured a bride perhaps planning to wear Chantilly when she said "I do."
"I remember wearing L'Anarchiste by Caron when I got married in 2016," said Jeffrey. It's a woody fragrance that was launched in 2000 and the nose behind this scent was Richard Fraysse.

Rusty was partial to Penhaligon's fragrances and chose to wear Sartorial on his wedding day. The notes of Sartorial which is an Aromatic Fougere scent complimented the mint, cinnamon, vetyver, sandalwood and musk of Jeffrey's L'Anarchiste.

Sartorial was launched in 2010 and the nose behind the fragrance was Bertrand Duchaufour.

A rare toilet water by Blasco is called Wedding Bells. This is the only known scent the company made. The bottle is 6" x 4" and includes foil labels, as does the box. The stopper is molded with a beautiful floral design. A 1916 ad in a Baltimore newspaper said it was a "luscious scent of a hundred flowers; a queen among perfumes." The bottle retailed for $2.00.
A 1959 Lentheric press photo shows a beautiful bride applying their Adam's Rib perfume on her special day! The scent was released in 1953 and is a floral spicy blend.
It's a Couples Thing...
The practice of the groom not seeing his bride before the wedding ceremony probably began in the 1700s when pre-arranged marriages were common.

It was considered "unlucky" for a bride and groom to see one another so the groom wouldn't back out if he saw his bride-to-be prior to the ceremony!

The bride's veil was used to conceal her face as she walked down the aisle.

Avon's Bridal Moments from 1976 is a perfect wedding gift for fragrance lovers!
Romantic couples can be found on a variety of compacts including this 1940s French porcelain Miref powder compact with a hand painted duo, who are perhaps discussing their wedding plans?! Volupte made this 3" 1940-50s powder compact with two pairs of legs on the lid. Perhaps it was time to now kiss his bride?
A Scent for a King & Queen

A fun Hot Knights Cool Queen mini perfume gift set!

It includes blue Hot Knights men's cologne and pink Cool Queen women's perfume bottles shaped like a royal crown. The set comes in a heavy silver metal box with a gift bow.

It was manufactured by John King in England and discovered at the IPBA UK Convention in 2022. 
Fun 1920s German bride and groom crowntops would also make a beautiful wedding cake topper, but without perfume inside!
Wedding Accessories...
Estee Lauder produced wedding themed vanity items including this 2003 Wedding Cake solid perfume and this 2000 Wedding Day powder compact with pearls!
  • The largest wedding was a 1993 wedding in Jerusalem with 30,000 guests.

  • The most expensive wedding was held in a stadium in Dubai for a Sheik's son.

  • The longest wedding dress train was in Germany, measuring over 515 feet.

  • 20 states don't require a minimum age for marriage, with a parental or judicial waiver.

Lipstick hankies in the 1930-50s were perfect gift items for a bride. Using a red hanky she didn't have to risk smearing her brightly colored lipstick on her white wedding gown!
This Yardley bride's box includes a variety of Yardley products. The oak box weighs 28 pounds and is part of the IPBA collection that's on display at Perfume Passage. The Summer 1943 issue of Bride's magazine featured an advertisement for the set, it sold for $47.50. That's $820 today!
A 1930s postcard with a vanity theme, is she getting ready for her wedding?
Did You Know...
So now that you’ve got the love, wedding rings, vows and cake all figured out, don't forget your scent. Remember, fragrances are often considered the final detail of any outfit and for every occasion!

One of the most popular spring and summer wedding fragrance is Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior.
When it comes to men’s fragrances, Eau Sauvage is an iconic classic with a fresh citrusy scent. It also lasts anywhere from five to eight hours, not typical of a citrus fragrance, but perfect for a wedding reception!

Love in White by Creed is an amber floral scent for women, launched in 2005. As its name suggests, the fragrance is perfect for your wedding day!
A white floral scent closely associated with Princess Diana was the one she wore on her wedding day in 1981 to Prince Charles.

Houbigant's Quelques Fleurs l'Original has been described as the first true multi-floral fragrance, launched in 1913. The nose behind this fragrance was Robert Bienaime.

Tiffany & Love (right), launched in 2019, features a citrusy, aromatic fragrance for him and a floral, woody scent for her.
New Perfume Passage Publication...
The Ephemera Journal
Published three times a year, our Journal magazines include articles and information about the known history of specific companies and items in our galleries. Our sixth Journal features a favorite Perfume Passage collecting category--Ephemera!

Ephemera are paper items meant to be destroyed. The sought after vanity related collectibles featured in our latest Journal include postcards, trade cards, Valentines, fans, ads, booklets and a myriad of paper items that miraculously survived for decades. These items are on display throughout the galleries and also placed in binders for hours of page-turning pleasure!
The new publication, along with past Journals -- Rudy Profumi, Robj, American Beauty, Made in Chicago and Rene Gruau, can be purchased on our website or while visiting Perfume Passage!
Our mission is to preserve the history, beauty and artistry of perfume bottles, compacts, ephemera and related vanity items. Through education, outreach, and awareness of the Perfume Passage collection and library, our goal is to inspire art lovers, collectors, archivists and curators to keep this history alive. 
Perfume Passage is open for tours! Please visit our website at to view the tour schedules. If you have a group or your club/association would like to plan a visit, please contact us at [email protected].

Types of tours include:

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