Over 120 years old, Avon was founded in 1886 in New York City as the California Perfume Company. It didn't take long for "CPC" to reach 10,000 representatives, which happened in 1906, the same year Avon first released a color brochure. By 1928 the company had 25,000 representatives and introduced the first products under the band name of Avon. The company's name was officially changed to Avon Products, Inc. in 1937.
During the mid-1960's Avon began marketing novelty containers and the first Glass Car Decanter is introduced in 1968. This was followed over the next 25 years with hundreds of interesting and unique novelty and figural decanters from both the Men's and Women's fragrance lines. The product line itself grew to included fancy soaps, scented candles, and holders, a complete range of children's toys filled with soaps and bubble baths, stationery items, and Christmas ornaments.
The height of Avon figural bottle popularity was between 1965-1980, although other figurals containers have been produced since that time. A wide variety of decanters of every description were made and were sold in large quantities during their peak creating an oversupply of these bottles and resulting in a “flat” market for most of them. They are seen in large numbers at many yard sales, flea markets and thrift stores. Most larger antique malls will also have at least a few booths that carry Avon bottles.
Collecting Avon Bottles
Those who have been collecting Avon bottles for years may be disappointed with the current prices of Avon bottles and decanters. While the resalable value is not high for those looking to sell it does mean that they are an affordable collectible for those starting out.
The single most important factor to keep in mind when collecting Avon figural bottles, especially cars, is the condition. Unfortunately, many of the bottles currently on the market have wholly or partially worn labels on the bottom and in most cases, the boxes are completely missing. Often the lids are in poor condition or entirely absent with the paint or “flashing” peeling off.
Value is added if the original box is still intact and in good condition. The bottles themselves will also have more value if the original content sticker is still on the base and is in legible condition. In general, fine condition bottles that are full, unopened and still in their original, mint (or near mint) condition boxes will be of the most value to collectors. Boxes that are dirty, faded, crumpled or bent will have very little if any, value.
Sometimes it may be difficult to recognize if an item of interest is actually an authentic Avon product. All products that have been created by Avon will feature a logo or mark of some kind. When buying online be sure to examine all photos carefully and if necessary contact the seller for more information.