In Chapter IX, the globe-shaped perfume bottle represents Laurie’s understanding of her world and who she is. When Jon takes Laurie to Mars, the chapter opens with the image of a perfume bottle falling, foreshadowing how Laurie’s understanding of herself is about to enter a freefall of its own. This image persists as Laurie revisits old memories. However, when Laurie realizes that Edward Blake is her father, the perfume bottle materializes in her hand. She instantly shatters it against the wall, symbolizing how her understanding of who she is and what she knows about the world (that she hates Blake more than anything) is suddenly shattered, wrecked. The shattering of Laurie’s self-perception triggers the simultaneous shattering of Jon’s clockwork castle, suggesting that her lost sense of self causes her to feel as if even the universe has come undone and lost any semblance of order.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Perfume Bottle appears in Watchmen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: The Darkness of Mere Being
...scenes she’s recalled with Jon: Edward Blake is her father. Laurie screams “no.” A globe-shaped perfume bottle appears in her hand and she hurls it at the wall. When it shatters, the... (full context)