How to Pick the Perfect Bottle for Engraving

Sep 27

Do you ever struggle to find the perfect gift for a loved one? One of my most popular calligraphy services is custom perfume bottle engraving.

Custom engraving on these beautiful bottles helps make a great gift extraordinary! You can choose the recipient’s name, special words, dates, florals, or other illustrations.

Once engraved, the bottle becomes a one-of-a-kind work of art and your loved one will feel extra special knowing that you put in the thought and time to have something created JUST for them.


This post is part 1 in a series where I’ll be diving deep into the different things you can consider when starting the process of having a fragrance bottle engraved. 

Let’s start at the beginning, with choosing which bottle to have engraved. One of the most commonly asked questions I hear when starting a perfume engraving project is “Can you engrave this bottle?”

The short answer is YES! Hand engraving is very flexible when it comes to the shape and size of a surface.

Now for the long answer – After you have chosen a scent you love; the look of the bottle will play a huge role in the end result. 


When planning what’s possible for the design of a perfume bottle engraving, several key factors must be considered to ensure it will fit on the bottle as well as compliment both the bottle and the artwork.

The main factors that influence our options are:

  • Bottle shape
  • Bottle size
  • Label size
  • Label placement
  • Surface texture
  • Bottle material

Let’s look at how these details affect our options and the end result.


The bottle’s shape significantly influences engraving options. Tall, slender bottles may benefit from vertical engravings, spherical ones could have wrap-around designs, and wide, flatter bottles tend to have space to fit more calligraphy or illustrations that you can see without needing to rotate the bottle.


The size of the perfume bottle determines the amount and complexity of the engraving. Smaller bottles have less space to work with, limiting the number of words and size of details while larger ones allow for bigger scale and more detail. You don’t want to squeeze a lot of words into a tiny space, making them feel cramped and hard to read.

For the tiny Chloe bottle, we simply engraved the recipient’s name – this happened to be for a little girl named Chloe! On the large Burberry bottle there was space for flourishing the calligraphy and detailed floral illustration.


Label size impacts the flexibility you have when planning an engraving design. Smaller labels give more blank space to play with and can accommodate intricate designs. Larger labels may require simpler engravings to avoid looking too busy and overwhelming the bottle’s appearance.

As you can see pictured below, the Miss Dior label fills up the center of the bottle, leaving a smaller space around the edges for engraving while on the Prada bottle, there isn’t a label on the glass so there was a lot of open space to play with. 


The placement of the label on the bottle is also significant. Perfume bottles can have labels on the front, back, or even wrap around the entire bottle. This placement affects how the engraving design interacts with the label.

For instance, if the label is on the front of the bottle, you can choose to have the engraving fill the space on the back of the bottle. Another popular choice is to incorporate the label into the design by wrapping the engraving around the edges of the label.

Pictured below, you can see how the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom bottles show how a similar design was used for both bottles with the engraving on the No. 5 Chanel bottle working around the label. On the Lollia bottle, a label completely wraps around the sides so we designed the engraving to be on the top of the bottle and curve around the cap.


Smooth, glassy surfaces allow for precise and intricate engravings, while textured or frosted glass may limit the level of detail that can be achieved or the ability to use a color fill. I’d recommend avoiding bottles with ribbed or textured glass because the only possible options are the lid or underside of the bottle. 

Frosted glass engraves well but tends to be a much subtler engraving that is beautiful but a very different look than engravings on smooth glass. Wax color fills that are used to add color to smooth glass engravings don’t work on frosted glass.

The wax fill is made to adhere to rough surfaces, like the engraved parts of the bottle, and wipe off smooth glass. The sandblasting or acid etching process that creates the pitted surface of frosted glass makes the wax fill adhere to everything. There are ways to fill in just the etched part of engravings on frosted glass but these are quite a bit more time consuming than the wax color fill.  


The material of a perfume bottle significantly influences the engraving’s appearance. Smooth glass, frosted glass, metal, ceramic, and acrylic bottles each interact uniquely with the engraving process.

Glass provides a smooth, translucent canvas for intricate and elegant engravings. In contrast, metal, acrylic bottles, while suitable for engraving, may lack the same level evenness in look and texture of the material exposed by the etching.

Understanding how these materials impact the engraving process plays a key role in achieving the desired aesthetic for your perfume or cologne bottle.


Almost any perfume or cologne bottle can be engraved but the options you have for wording and design will vary by bottle.

Engraving on fragrance bottles is an art that considers shape, size, label, placement, texture, and material. By taking each of these factors into consideration, bottles are transformed into one-of-a-kind treasured keepsakes.

With this in mind, you should now be ready to choose the perfect perfume bottle to create the overall look you’re going for with your special gift.

Looking to have a bottle custom engraved? Click the work with me button on the left of the screen and let’s chat!

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