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1690s, a type of condiment, from French vinaigrette, diminutive of vinaigre "(aromatic) vinegar" (see vinegar). Modern sense of a type of dressing for salads or cold vegetables is attested from 1877.
small metal perfume container usually made of gold or silver and containing a pierced metal tray beneath which was placed a piece of sponge soaked in an aromatic substance such as vinegar combined with lavender. Vinaigrettes were made as boxes and many more novel forms from the late 18th to the late 19th century. Most English examples were made in Birmingham