Now on: Harrods Perfume Diaries - Exhibition celebrating the past, present and future of the Perfume Industry

by Grant Osborne, 04th September, 2010

Harrods is presenting first significant perfume exhibition of recent times, The Perfume Diaries. A celebration of the fragrance industry, The Perfume Diaries chronicles the fascinating story of perfume from ancient times right through to modern day and beyond. Harrods reveal the amazing heritage behind fragrances on the market today, demonstrating the evolution of the world’s favourite scents.

The Exhibition is housed within a stylish contemporary exhibition space on the Fourth Floor of Harrods, The Perfume Diaries is a comprehensive view of the most significant and influential scents to have emerged since the 1800s; from Jicky to JLo and everything in between.

The Perfume Diaries is curated by Roja Dove. Roja has selected fragrances for their impact on the industry and their influence over the way in which we wear perfume today. Visitors to the exhibition will discover the inspiration behind the greatest classics – from the coveted jewels of Boucheron to the pioneers of Haute Couture, such as Christian Dior’s New Look collection which led to Dior’s first scent, Miss Dior. Original artwork sketch designs and advertising visuals, as well as personal anecdotes and photographs, are displayed alongside rare and exquisite flacons, sourced from archives all over the world.

The exhibition charts the evolution of fragrance decade by decade. Enthusiasts will learn how perfumers responded to and reflected society in their work, such as the oriental vanillic scents of the 1930s which arose as people looked for escapist fragrances following the Depression; the new green notes of the late 1940s, which resulted from the desire for a fresh start after the Second World War; and the brash over-powering scents of the greed-is-good 1980s.

The Perfume Diaries will also educate customers as to how fragrance is made, in an exciting collaboration with Givaudan which will explain the manufacture process and enable customers to touch, see and smell ingredients used in Perfumery – from the most common to the most precious.

Also exhibiting alongside Perfume Diaries is a retrospective of Estée Lauder's compacts. Every Christmas since 1963, Estée Lauder has introduced a collection of limited-edition solid perfume and powder compacts. From traditional cameos to art deco designs, these delicate pieces enjoy a worldwide following among collectors. To date there are approximately 770 solid perfume and powder compact designs.

Estée Lauder will be showcasing a rare selection of Harrods compacts from its archives as part of The Perfume Diaries at its exclusive Estée Lauder Harrods Compact Exhibit where some of the most covetable collectable compacts will be on display together with a preview of its Christmas 2010 collection. Visitors can collect an iPod upon arrival to be taken through the compact history with a special commentary recorded by Mrs. Evelyn Lauder.

A series of high-profile events during the exhibition will see the world’s finest and most revered perfumers talk about their work: These are as follows. Apart from The House of Guerlain, these are drop-in.

Jade Jagger for Guerlain - Personal Appearance and Fragrance Signing

Wednesday 8th September 2010, 12.30pm – 2pm

Jagger reveals her interpretation of Guerlain’s legendary Shalimar bottle

The House of Guerlain

Thursday 9th September 2010, 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Enjoy a unique presentation by renowned perfumers Jean-Paul Guerlain and Thierry Wasser. Call 020 7730 1234 ext 3020 to reserve a place.

An Evening of British Perfumery

Thursday 16th September 2010, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Explore the best of British perfumery, led by curator Roja Dove. Speakers include Linda Pilkington of Ormonde Jayne, and representatives from Floris, Grossmith, Penhaligon's and Clive Christian.

An Evening of European Perfumery

Tuesday 21st September 2010, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

A celebration of European perfumery, led by curator Roja Dove, with speakers from Lubin, Mona di Orio, Chantecaille and Givenchy.

The Science of Scent

Thursday 23rd September 2010, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Discover the fascinating creation process of how a fragrance is made, with experts from Givaudan and Proctor & Gamble

The Bottle Makers

Thursday 30th September 2010, 6.30pm - 8.00pm

Discover the history and beauty of the perfume bottle with experts from iconic brand Baccarat

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    • Francop | 5th September 2010 08:30

      Vow...a true scent museum in London; no need to go to Paris while the exhibition is on...

      Do we know how long is it running for?...hopefully till Christmas 2010...!!!

      Thanks very much Grant...:cheesy:

    • CoL | 5th September 2010 09:50

      Coooool! I think a trip to London is on the cards! Best get me credit cards in the freezer first...:rolleyesold:

    • Grant (article author) | 5th September 2010 19:03

      Ends October 2nd I believe

    • Persolaise | 5th September 2010 21:48

      I've had a quick preview of the exhibition and I'll be returning for a more thorough look next weekend, but I can confidently say it's well worth several hours of any perfume-lover's time. Some of the bottles are absolute treasures.

    • Francop | 5th September 2010 22:34

      I think I shall miss it; what a shame...:cry:

    • Nukapai | 6th September 2010 12:13

      I am going there tomorrow. I tried to book a place for the Guerlain presentation and predictably all the 100 placed had filled up almost immediately. :undecided:

      Can't wait to see the exhibition! What a fantastic idea.