• Harrods Perfume Diaries : Picture Round Up

      Over the next month, Harrods is holding the Perfume Diaries Exhibition, which is a showcase of the past, present and future of the perfume industry. Basenotes had the chance to attend a preview last week, hosted by the exhibition's curator, Roja Dove. Unsurprisingly, given Dove's background at Guerlain, the exhibition features many bottles from Guerlain's long history. But there many historical exhibits from other historic houses such Chanel, Lubin, Floris, Grossmith's and Penhaligon's.

      As you walk round, some of the fragrances are available to smell. Sadly for those of you wishing to try long discontinued classics will be out of luck: most, if not all of the scents available to try are available either in the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie or in the Harrods Perfume Hall.

      Having said this, there is more than enough treats for your eyes here, that your nose might not even notice. Here are a few images...

      * * *

      At the start of the exhibition is a brief explanation about fragrance notes, and families.



      Above: A visual interpretation of the olfactory pyramid.



      An explanation of the olfactory pyramid.


      Top to Bottom: Chanel No5, 1921 "Features Aldehyde to gently lift the floral notes out of the bouquet"; Bandit by Robert Piguet, 1944 "Features Isobutyl Quinoline to give the aggressive smoky notes"; Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior, 1966 "Features Hedione, which gives the distinctive strongly Jasmine characteristic in a way that is beyond nature"; Angel by Thierry Mugler, 1992 "Features Ethyl Maltol, and started the gustative trends"; Terre d'Hermes, 2006 "Features an ionine that naturally occurs in violets".

      Lubin


      Above is the very first Eau de Toilette. Though it wasn't the name of the concentration, but the name of the actual scent. A Toile was a type of material which could be scented, and so Lubin took this further and made a liquid form: Hence Eau de Toilette.

      Coty


      Some early Coty bottles, including some bottles by Lalique


      100-year-old sampler box of many Coty scents. May have been used by sales staff to introduce the range. The back row (out of sight) features L'Origan (1905) but mostly appears to have some duplicates of the scent in the front row, which are: (L-R) Styx (1912), La Rose Jacqueminot (1906), Lilas Pourpre (1911), L'Effleure (date unknown, but the scent was either relaunched or the name appears to have been reused in the nineties); Ambre Antique (1910) and Jasmine de Corse (1906).


      Floris


      Central, is a very old, very large bottle of Special No. 127

      Guerlain


      Early Guerlain bottles. Each was the same, as people bought them for the juice, which would then be decanted into a dedicated vessel.

      L-R: Guerlain Pour Troubler, Chant d'Arômes, Fleur Qui Meurt, Apres L'Ondée


      Shalimar showcase - includes top left - the original bottle, with the blue stopper painted with mercury; Middle left - 2010 limited edition designed by Jade Jagger, exclusive to Harrods; Middle right - Shalimar under the code name of 90 - as the Shalimar name was trademarked in the UK to the DuBarry cosmetics company, so Shalimar was known by the code in the UK.


      L-R : Muguet, Voila Pourquoi J'Amais Rosine (That is why I loved Rosine), another Muguet


      Various bottles including L'Heure Bleue and Mitsouko


      Syringa, Tacoma, Jasmiralda

      Chanel

      Very rare Chanel presentation box featuring No.2, No.5, No. 11 and No.22]

      Early Chanel No. 5 advertisement


      Evolution of the Chanel No.5 bottle over time, notice how the stopper gets bigger.

      Worth



      The first Worth fragrances when put together created poetry.

      Scent and travel opportunities


      New ways of travel inspired scents: L-R Vol de Nuit (Guerlain), En Avion (Caron), Normandie (Patou)

      Caron

      Below, various Caron fragrances


      Molinard



      Lanvin


      Lanvin's Arpege

      Dior


      The Dior Dress that inspired Miss Dior


      Ferragamo



      Lancôme



      Givenchy



      Estee Lauder


      Above and below, early Youth Dew

      Above - handwritten note by Audrey Hepburn, thanking Estee Lauder

      Aramis


      Aramis Soap on a Rope

      Misc


      About the author Grant Osborne
      Author AvatarGrant Osborne is the founder and editor of Basenotes. Grant has two children, and a dependence on tea, haribo and bacon.

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      Comments 32 Comments
      1. Primrose's Avatar
        Primrose -
        Oh, my, Grant! Thank you!

        What a feast for the perfume lover's eyes! Oh, those antique bottles! And I love the history, too!

        I always thought that "eau de toilette" was from from the antiquated act of dressing for the day: the toilette. When one gets shaved, coifed and dressed (from the underlinen to the top hat), one "makes one's toilette."
      1. Grant's Avatar
        Grant -
        @Primrose re: Eau de Toilette - well that's Lubin's story anyway.
      1. kbe's Avatar
        kbe -
        OMG..

        Thanks Grant for such a treat!
      1. Francop's Avatar
        Francop -
        Grant,

        You are a very BIG STAR...again...!!!

        Thanks a million for the feast !
      1. Nostalgie's Avatar
        Nostalgie -
        WOW! I need a plane ticket...now!
      1. Primrose's Avatar
        Primrose -
        Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
        @Primrose re: Eau de Toilette - well that's Lubin's story anyway.
        ???
      1. NevilleM's Avatar
        NevilleM -
        Thanks Grant.

        I particularly love the Coty Sampler box.
        What a great name "Styx" - I can see the TV advert as Coty man dips his flacon into the river as the dead are ferried by (do you want him with wings or red eyes?)

        I hope to get along to see it all for myself on Wednesday afternoon after the Jade Jagger Shalimar bottle launch/scrum is over.
      1. the_good_life's Avatar
        the_good_life -
        Luckyily I'll be in London on business before the exhibit closes and I'll just have to carve out an hour to see it .
      1. Madame du Barry's Avatar
        Madame du Barry -
        I want, no - I need to go there. Alas, it's all work and no play.
      1. Futami's Avatar
        Futami -
        Great photos. Wow, a fragrance bottle in the shape of a battleship.
      1. Grant's Avatar
        Grant -
        @Primrose - I was just commenting that was the story of the name of Eau de Toilette according to Lubin - normally in the perfume world there are a few myths and legends about these things and I'm never sure what to believe

        @everyone - there's a great write up by Nina at NST, for those who want some more reading material on the event.
      1. hirch_duckfinder's Avatar
        hirch_duckfinder -
        I can't believe you didn't nick the aramis soap-on-a-rope
      1. Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
        Mimi Gardenia -
        Quote Originally Posted by hirch_duckfinder View Post
        I can't believe you didn't nick the aramis soap-on-a-rope
        *LOL*

        What wonderful pictures - so beautiful to see so many perfumes of class together.
      1. Ratfink's Avatar
        Ratfink -
        Oh, wow. It looks fabulous. That's it, I'm going.
      1. ysatis's Avatar
        ysatis -
        Superior idea, well realized, is a point of more discoveries in the perfume's world!!!!! with admiration!!!!
      1. Primrose's Avatar
        Primrose -
        Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
        @Primrose - I was just commenting that was the story of the name of Eau de Toilette according to Lubin - normally in the perfume world there are a few myths and legends about these things and I'm never sure what to believe

        @everyone - there's a great write up by Nina at NST, for those who want some more reading material on the event.
        Grant, they say, "when truth and legend conflict, print the legend." This is so true in perfume marketing!
      1. rickbr's Avatar
        rickbr -
        Thank you for the photos Grant! It was a nice way to have a taste of the Exhibition. Wish I was in USA to check it personally
      1. Grant's Avatar
        Grant -
        @Hirch - yes the Soap on a Rope was temping, but there were a few I'd have taken before that. Chanel No. 2 possibly!

        @rickbr, the exhibition is in London, but that's probably even more difficult for you to get to than the US!
      1. Ratfink's Avatar
        Ratfink -
        Daft question: is it necessary to book ahead for the Perfume Diaries Afternoon Tea, or is it okay just to roll up? Thanks!
      1. NevilleM's Avatar
        NevilleM -
        Ratfink: The Guide says the PD Tea is on every day. To get to the exhibition you have to pass through the Georgian Restaurant on the 4th floor. I'm not sure how fragrant the tea is - earl grey with rose and leather? The exhibition being next door it may be PG Tips and wafts of Shalimar (in the new bottle).

        I passed through the restaurant last Wednesday around 4pm and there were plenty of empty tables (there was a birthday party with 20 people going on). It's probably worth ringing ahead if you know a day/time as it probably depends if there are any tour groups taking tea.

        I'm down to take the PD tour with Roja Dove as tour guide next week. That should certainly add to the experience.



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