Perfume: A sensory journey through contemporary scent
We are so excited to finally see an exhibition using fragrance getting the press and recognition it deserves.From the self-taught to the classically trained, the exhibition explores perfumers reworking their palette of ingredients to construct original and outrageous signatures which assault all of the senses. Seeking out visceral, surprising and sometimes unsavoury smells such as smoke and sweat, they evoke unexpected places or moments, rather than simply trying to mask our own odours. The selected perfumers highlighted at this event have opened up and are celebrating their craft with a global online community of ‘fumeheads’. Providing insights into processes, engaging in discussions and even taking inspiration from customers, they have offered a much more accessible approach to perfumery that’s unlike anything seen before.
This exhibition will take you on an olfactory journey through a series of rooms designed to reflect the inspirations of the scents, from the Moroccan desert a Catholic confessional, a water theme park to a lover’s boudoir. Each room will include visual, auditory and tactile references to the identity and influences of the perfumer to guide you on your olfactory journey.
The ten perfumes and perfumers are:
DANIELA ANDRIER – PURPLE RAIN (2015)
A sumptuous re-working of traditional iris perfumes
MARK BUXTON – COMME DES GARÇONS 2 (1999)
An ultra-modern, ink-inspired fragrance
BERTRAND DUCHAUFOUR – INCENSE: AVIGNON (2002)
An olfactory portrait of French Catholic mass
OLIVIA GIACOBETTI – EN PASSANT (2000)
A fresh, floral fragrance with a twist
LYN HARRIS – CHARCOAL (2016)
A familiar, yet unexpected, intriguing fragrance
ANTOINE LIE – SÉCRÉTIONS MAGNIFIQUES (2007)
The scent of sexual pleasure
DAVID S. MOLTZ – EL COSMICO (2015)
A sensory exploration of the Texan Desert
GEZA SCHOEN – MOLECULE 01 (2007)
The skill of science meets the art of perfume
ANDY TAUER – L’AIR DU DÉSERT MAROCAIN (2005)
A fragrance inspired by the scents of the Saharan Desert
KILLIAN WELLS – DARK RIDE (2015)
A thrilling scent simulation of a water theme-park
‘Smell is a way of understanding that nothing is lost.’
Daniela Andrier, perfumer
The exhibition also includes an overview of 20th-century perfumery, with an introductory installation including ten trailblazing scents of the time – one for each decade of the 20th century. It will start with L’Origan de Coty (1905) – a hallmark perfume, now out of circulation, that will be specially recreated by Coty for the exhibition – and end with ck one(1994), the original gender-neutral fragrance of western perfume culture that led the ‘clean’ scent trend.
Claire Catterall, curator of the exhibition, describes perfume as “the most democratic form of art.” In collaboration with fragrance writer and friend of The Aroma Co, Lizzie Ostrom, Caterall attempts to free perfume from the opaque language of “top notes” and “dry downs” and dig into our thought processes around perfume. “Perfume has everything: it’s about our art, and commerce. It’s about intimacy and relationships and our place in the world,” says Catterall. “It’s about hopes, aspirations, memories and emotion.” The installation for Secretions Magnifique, an infamous decade-old scent by perfumer Antoine Lie, features a rumpled bed on which visitors are invited to sit, and sniff the fragrance embedded in the sheets. The notes of the perfume include semen, blood, sweat, saliva and breast milk. “It’s about the whole journey of love,” says Catterall
We have been lucky enough to partner with one of the sponsors of the event ‘Peroni’ whom have taken residence on Somerset Houses Terrace for the duration, and in the beautiful ‘orangery’ style bar they have set up, are using our diffusers to create the ambient illusion of the chinotto orange, also used the flavour the new beer. (https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/somerset-house-terrace)
We will be heading down on the 29th of June, but you’ve got from the 21st of June until the 17th of September- get your tickets booked!