In choosing the title for this post, I could have said "perfume atomisers", as these are the receptacles which bother me most - I am thinking specifically of the little spray vials you get in carded manufacturer's samples. However, my bottle of Creed Love in Black is also opaque, as is Love in White, though I don't have that one. My Bal a Versailles is in a white and gold bottle, and other opaque brands I can think of are Keiko Mecheri and Juliette Has a Gun, though I don't own anything from those lines either. Several of the Bond No 9 line are in opaque bottles as I recall, not that I would be especially tempted to buy any of them even if they came in clear glass with measurement markings printed down one side. And there are doubtless many more examples of the phenomenon - Habanita by Molinard just popped into my mind, also Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez and the Piguet range.
What prompted this "rantlet", for in all honesty the opacity thing is more of a "scent niggle" than a "crime" as such, was the fact that I wore a sample of Guerlain Idylle the other day from a little white vial, and couldn't work out how much was left in it. I shook it a few times to try to work out the remaining level from the noise it made, but with so little in there to start with you can't really deduce much by sound alone. And this also begs the question: when I bought a job lot of six of these vials from an Ebay seller, were they in fact all full to start with, as stated?
Going back to my Creed bottle, I have swapped and given away a few decants from it, but if I were ever to swap or sell the remaining bottle (offers welcome, by the way!), I wouldn't have a clue how much is in there to put in the description of the item. Which - with such an expensive scent - is pretty fundamental information. Holding it up to the light doesn't help, and the shake test only suggests there is "quite a bit still in there". So if anyone wanted to carry out a series of "fill level scams", opaque receptacles are definitely the way to go!
I am sure I have seen a bottle - possibly a men's one - where the front and back were opaque, but you could clearly see the fill level down the sides. So that is not a bad compromise, if you must do opaque at all, and personally I favour translucent every time.
I also think that opaque bottles/vials look cheaper somehow - not the Piguets or the Tom Fords particularly, but those JHAG ones look a bit basic. They could quite easily be Aussie shampoo...
So as with politicians' expenses and perfume reformulations that are sometimes slipped past us as soon as our backs are turned, when it comes to the the design of perfume bottles and vials I would like to call for greater transparency!