Fragrance Bottle Design: Boss vs. Bois

In my last post, I wrote about the changing bottle designs of some big liquor brands. This time, it’s cologne bottles that have caught my eye.

When I first saw an ad online for Boss Number Six on a menswear blog, I thought at a glance that I was looking at a bottle of the niche brand Bois 1920. There’s a difference of about $125 in price between the two brands, but look at how much is similar in the bottle:

First, both caps have a simple column design with a ledged top. The shape of these bottles is very close, too. Although the Boss has rounded shoulders and the Bois has a more angular slope, they are both shouldered cylindrical bottles with widened bases. Both are more or less clear (Bois is frosted), and in the case of Boss Number Six and Classic 1920, even the color of the juice is similar. Finally, the lettering: both show the name raised letters. With Boss, it’s vertical, with Bois, it’s horizontal.

Boss has actually been around longer, strictly speaking. This fragrance, Boss Number Six (around $65 for 100ml) or “Boss Bottled,” as it’s sometimes known, debuted in 1998. It has top notes of apple, bergamot and cinnamon with a woody base of cedar, olive, sandalwood and vetiver. Bois 1920 traces its roots back to Florence, Italy in 1920, but the brand as we know it today was launched in 2005 by the grandson of the original founder. the Classic 1920 fragrance (about $195 for 100ml) also has a woody base (vetiver and sandalwood) with some citrus and fruit in the top notes.

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2 Responses to Fragrance Bottle Design: Boss vs. Bois

  1. I see the similarities in the bottles of course but I think Bois 1920 have got the proportions right. There is something classical in that bottle.

    • I agree about the proportions, but I’m not a big fan of the frosted glass. Almost all of their bottles are frosted. I would like the Boss bottle better if the cap were changed — I think it may be too big.

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