Do You Know About Perfume Buttons? Posted on 17 Jun 12:43 , 55 comments

Some of the antique buttons that I use in my designs are perfume buttons. Many people haven't ever heard of them so I hope you find this an interesting introduction to another piece of button art from bygone days!

 Perfume buttons were manufactured in the United States in the 1800’s. They were also very popular in Europe, particularly England and France. These buttons had a cloth base usually made of flannel or velvet over which an ornamentally patterned, openwork piece of metal was placed. The patterns were often floral but birds or arabesques were also used. 

The buttons had several purposes. The practical and obvious use was a closure for clothing. However, since perfume is often made with essential oils, it would stain women’s clothing  and this was a perfect solution to that problem. They would put a couple drops of their favorite fragrance on the fabric area of the button rather than risk staining their clothing. The designs on these are so intricate and beautiful that they could be pinned anywhere as a decoration on a blouse, and worn like a brooch. 

The more romantic legend is that during the Civil War in America, ladies would send their beaus off to fight with one of their perfume buttons pinned to their uniform collar or in a pocket. They would always carry a reminder of their loved one left behind.

 I prefer the romantic version, don't you?   I thought so!