A Glass Blower’s Take on Norell New York’s Hand-Blown Bottle

Robert DuGrenier explains what makes Norell New York’s luxury bottle by Baccarat so special.

By Marie Redding, associate editor 01.05.16
When a fragrance bottle begins with a great design, which might include a luxe decoration, there’s no doubt that it will look beautiful. But when a brand has a bottle hand-blown by a crystal house such as Baccarat, it’s in another league.

Robert DuGrenier, of Robert
DuGrenier Associates
We showed Robert DuGrenier, a sculptor and glass blower, this video of Baccarat's glass-blower producing the limited edition bottle for Norell New York Parfum.

Norell New York, in the Baccarat bottle, retails for $1,500. Only 500 bottles were produced at Baccarat’s factory in France. They launched in time for the 2015 holiday season.  

DuGrenier views the video, and then explains, “The sculptor is gathering the glass by hand, then depositing it into a semi-automatic mold.”

It’s critical to use a mold, DuGrenier says, because the bottle is a rectangular shape. “Perfectly straight lines are critical,” he says, further explaining, “The bottle is hand-blown, but then it is machine-pressed, to get those perfect lines.”

DuGrenier continues to discuss the steps that Baccarat’s craftsman is demonstrating in the slideshow above. “After the bottle is machine pressed, the blower hand-torches the bottle, which eliminates surface markings from the mold. All the tool marks are melted back into the glass, which is really special because it is a hand-decorating technique that is never used anymore.”

Another step in the process, which is shown in the video, features the glass-blower applying a lead polish to the bottle. “This is a finishing treatment that gives the crystal a brilliance that you just don’t get from mass production,” says DuGrenier.

The sculptor from Baccarat also hand-blows a glass stopper for the bottle, before finishing it by wrapping the bottle’s neck with gold thread. DuGrenier comments, “That final detail is amazing to watch - it’s how it was done in the past.”

See the slideshow above, which features some of the steps in the production process.


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