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December 23, 2009



Very interesting! I'd shell out a buck for a nip, any time. :-)

Michelle Krell Kydd

LOVE the idea of luxe fragrances delivered as perfume Nips at Walmart. Sounds like a marketing plan.

Nips curiously resemble ampoules though it looks like there are two breakable ends. I wonder if that was the inspiration for the Nip design.

Fascinating post. Look forward to learning more!


Moongrrl, I would too! And the delivery system would add to the perfume experience...and Michelle, you've got me intrigued about ampoules. The word alone is evocative!


My mother gave me a box of these perfume nips a couple of years ago. She bought them in the 70s when she went to America on vacation. For the longest time, I was wondering what they were called and why they don't seem to exist anymore. I'm glad I found this post!

The photos:


Hey Japanesebystander, thanks for stopping by. I left a comment on your blog; I'm curious about what perfumes are in the nips, and, come to think of it, whether or not there's an incongruous advertisement on the back.


I have a box of these (including the instruction sheet you posted above). What would something like this be worth? Do you have links to the eBay auctions you referenced?


Hi Liz, I see these going anywhere from 20 - 50 dollars. I think more if they're vintages people still recognize and consider classics (ex. Shocking by Schiaparelli). What perfumes do you have?


It's a little case with tubes in it. Each tube contains 10 nips. They are: Spicy Bouquet, Modern Blend, Fruity Blend, Single Floral, Oriental Blend, Forest Blend, Floral Bouquet.

Then, there's a smaller plastic case with loose nips in it. They are color-coded on the ends and have printed on the plastic different names:

Yram, Evening in Paris, High Heels, Repartee, White Lilac, Golden Chance, Consent, No. 3, Gardenia, Modernique, Devastating, Noa Noa, Blue Sensation, Moonlight Mist, Jealousy, Fleurs d'Amour, Tweed, Shanghai, Black Satin, Folie de Minuit, Lily Valley, Strategy, Tapestry, La Rosa, Envoy, Breathless, Mont? Night, Fourth Dimension, Midnight


(Had to break this in two pieces!)

A friend gave this to my daughter to play with because she's into making her own perfumes. She said it has been her grandmother's, but she never used it and passed it down to my friend. There is no advertising or markings on the box - it's a gold-cover box with a gold print and a black bottom. When we took the kit out, there was a card in the bottom that said "Happy Birthday, Virginia, from Vega: 3/6/59." The only other thing is the instruction sheet you posted above.

I didn't want to allow my daughter to play with this if it had collector's value to someone. If we're only talking $20-50, I will probably just let her have it (not worth selling on eBay for that amount). However, if you do think this is more valuable for some reason, please let me know and I can save it for whomever wants it. Thanks!


If the'yre worth more than $50 to you, Liz, I'd keep them. I've never seen them fetching for more than that on eBay. Sounds like a wonderful keepsake.


I was enthralled with perfume nips as a little girl in the early 50's and remember them so well! I did not know they were sold in vending machines though! Mine were supplied in small rectangular boxes containing perhaps 20 nips. Thanks for the memories!


Theyre pretty cool, Carole. I keep meaning to get some and crack one open!

Deb Griffith

I have a pack of 4 perfume nips from the 1950's... is anyone interested in buying something like this? They were given to me as a tip when I worked at a Bob Evans.. Have had them for almost 40 years.. Just wondering??>?


What's Bob Evans, Deb? And what perfumes are in the nips?


I used to receive sets of nips now and then as gifts when I was a young teen in the 60s. I remember that they smelled so exotic and wonderful, if I remember right, they were always French perfumes.

Lately I've been playing around with a little natural perfumery myself, and I was remembering a set of nips I got once that was not samples of named perfumes, but rather the type of perfume, ie, 'spicy', 'floral', 'fruity', etc.

I don't remember any of those at all except for the 'fruity' sample, and it has really stuck in my memory. These were not cheap drugstore perfumes either I'm pretty sure. The fruity sample was magnificent. The only perfume I'm familiar with that I can compare it to is maybe Mitsouko, but it was fruitier than that. Wonderful.

I couldn't remember the name of what these little glass samples with the colored tips were called, so I did a google search just now and came up with your blog entry. It was cool to see a picture of the little nips in their case again!

Joyce Owen

Hello. I have a set of 97 in a gold cardboard box. The nips are in a plastic box with a gold plastic tray for the nips to lay in inside the plastic box which lays inside the cardboard box, plus it has a gold plastic tube with it which I'm assuming is to carry some of the nips for traveling. I think It may have been a set 0f 100 but not sure. I got this from my grandmothers stuff years ago and forgot about them till I got to cleaning to day. Would love to sell them for the right price or just find out what they would be worth.. I can send pictures if anyone is interested.

Hadassah Grace

Well i just found this website. I just paid 50 cents at a yard sale for a plastic box with 71 nips in side with the list of perfumes also in side. I love this. I wish I new how old they are. This is the neatest find I have had in a while. Thank you for posting the information.


just given a little small set of nips my friend found at a garage sale for .50 cents. She also found a tiny sample size of Chamade and another. But these little nips have just piqued my imagination. Yes, perfume vending machines and exotic perfumes at Target? Double yes.

Tara galbraith

I have a little box of these "nips" that belonged to my grandmother. I believe they are glass. I came to this suite looking for more info behind them :)

Vivii Anna

I once bought a box (of 25 I think) at a thrift store. There was no advertising on the plastic box. They were color coded and I dumped them out on the living room floor to line them up and see what fragrences I had. I ran into the bedroom for my notebook, and my son comes in and (not seeing them) stepped on the pile of glass nibs. I think 3 survived. They didn't smell too good in a mix like that!! I've never found another set.

Vivii Anna

OH, I forgot to add, in response you your comment on stingy perfume counter people. Early 1980s. I once went into a Diamonds dept store looking for a lipstick that was similar to a vintage one I had.
I was wearing vintage clothing. The clerk was absolutely rude to me, so I went to the next counter that was Estee Lauder. The clerk was an angel, and after spending $400, she gave me samples of whatever she had. The rude clerk at the other counter was practically snarling! Diamonds paid by %, and $400 made a nice commission for the Estee Lauder clerk!

Susan Kendrot

As a young girl in the 1940's, I remember sitting around the dining room table with my mother sister and aunts and grandmother sorting nips and packaging them in small red cardboard tubes. My Aunt Mary Prendergast was a partner in the Nips Inc. company based in NYC and hired us to help. They must have been short of help or perhaps this work was always outsourced.


Susan! Thanks for sharing this charming story. I may get in touch with you to find out more. Thank you!

Sent from my iPhone


I didn't know these were called nips.
My father gave my mother a box of these with French perfume samples in the 1970's. We sampled them together and they were glass I thought with color coded tips. I appreciate your website and sharing about these. Thanks. Dee Dee

Connie Willhite

In the early 60s a friend and I had my little box of perfume nips out in my science clas and the teacher( an older gentleman saw us and thought they were something like drugs. He was very upset and sent us to the office. The lady counselor took one look, knew what they were and just laughed


I have 115 sets of nip viles all kinds of perfumes chanel no.5 and alot more contact if interested all for sale.


Who made extrait liz de liz paris?
Thanks so much

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