December 19, 2012

The Art Of Fragrance – Perfume Exhibition In New York


It’s a detail so small, but somehow it makes a big difference; you probably wear it every day and without it you’d feel naked; even so, it never seems to get the entire admiration that it deserves – I’m talking about perfume.

”However “brilliant” or “extraordinary” the greatest scents may be, they’re not recognized as works of art, and the artists who create them are not recognized as artists.” says Chandler Burr, curator of an innovative exhibition at New York’s Museum Of Arts and Design.

”The Art of Scent 1889-2012” is the first exhibition dedicated to exploring the design and aesthetic of the olfactory art, through a set of twelve fragrances dating fro 1889 until present day, that have had a major impact on the world.

”The fundamental goal of the department is placing scent as an artistic medium alongside painting, sculpture and music.” says Burr. Available from November 20th 2012 up to February 24th 2013, the exhibition examines the stylistic development in the evolution of perfumes, offering an insight into the minute process of their creation.


Each perfume is individually presented with the help of a special installation created by Dillier Scofidio & Renfro – a minimalist white cube that has walls which dispense puffs of fragrance and feature details about each one, such as the name of its creator and the method used for its fabrication. There is also a special space in which visitor have the possibility to experience perfumes by immersing strips of absorbant paper into petri dishes filled with one of the twelve perfumes featured in the exhibition, or observe the various stages of development for a thirteenth perfume – Trésor, Sophia Grojsmann (1990), via peel-and-sniff strips.

The exhibition features perfumes created by Ernest Beaux (who, in 1921 used chemical compounds for the first time ever to create the first modern perfume – Chanel N˚ 5, Bernard Chant – Aromatics Elixir (1971), Annie Buzantian si Alberto Morillas – Pleasures (1995), Oliver Cresp – Light Blue (2001), Jean-Claude Ellena – Osmanthe Yunnan, Daniela Andrier – Untitled (2010), Aimé Guerlain – Jicky (1889), Fabrice Fabron – L’Interdit (1957), Pierre Wargnye – Drakkar Noir (1982), Jacques Cavallier L’Eau d’Issey (1992), Olivier Cresp – Angel (1992), and Carlos Benaϊm and Clément Gavarry – Prada Amber (2003).

Photos courtesy of:,