The Fragrance Industry's Bizarre Love Affair With Giant Bottles


For as long as luxury companies have been selling fragrances, there have been ads that feature larger-than-life bottles of the stuff. The whole is the woman tiny or is the perfume really big? question never gets old, apparently! It’s like a bunch of art directors all studied the Daughters of Edward Darley Boit and then pitched, pitched, pitched.

For its Gucci by Gucci campaign in 2009, the company made ridiculously huge bottles a theme.

Both lions and large bottles recur in Bulgari’s perfume ads, too.

Sometimes people are so taken with their enormous perfume bottles that they rub themselves against them, cling to them, swing from them, or, you know, just really wanna hang out with them all the time.

Sometimes women are moved to hang out with their large perfumes in the nude.

And sometimes so are men.

Occasionally, the oversized bottle blends in with the model’s clothing. This lady looks kind of like she’s wearing a giant Coach decal.

Other times, the mega-bottle is clearly inspired by clothing.

And sometimes the bottle is the clothing.

Alan Cumming did seriously release a signature perfume, Cumming, in 2004. But he was decidedly un-serious in his approach to said perfume’s marketing (Cumming was available as a soap — Cumming in a Bar — and a lotion — Cumming All Over). Naturally, he spoofed the visual cliché of the big bottle in one of his ads.

Sarah Jessica Parker had the requisite extra-large bottle of Covet on hand for her perfume ad, too.

Tom Ford likes his models to splash around.

Sometimes perfume bottles get so enormous that they actually contain people.

Other times, the big perfume is just a prism through which to view the world.

Let’s all hope she doesn’t drop that.

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