The Verwood and District Potteries Trust

Smelly Pots

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The Dorset perfume trade

From 1905 there was a lavender farm at Corfe Mullen, pretending that Dorset was the south of France by growing 60 acres of lavender, herbs and roses. Perfume and lavender oil was distilled and pot pourris produced. Verwood supplied tiny costrels for the lavender oil, which were sold at fancy London shops like Liberty's. They also made bowls to take the pot pourri. Sadly all the smell has gone from the surviving pots. The lavender farm closed in the early 1920s.

Verwood must have enjoyed making smelly pots because from the late 1920's they produced a cheaper version - the perfume brick, which was soaked in lavender or other perfume and then used in linen cupboards. Again, surviving examples don't smell any more. They look like tiny bricks, and have PERFUME BRICK moulded into them.

A small, spherical Verwood pot The base of a pot showing the Liberty seal
One of the tiny Verwood costrels used for lavender oil, marked on the bottom with its registration number and the shop it was sold in - Liberty. (Both images link to larger pictures.)