The “Perfumes Tales & Legends” event saw a non-stop array of passers-by browsing and sniffing their way thru the exhibition.
A few items that may be of interest:
The olfactory introductory class hosted by Anne Camilli (for the first couple of days) and Chelsea Chik (for the next week and a bit) featured single note ingredients from Cinquieme Sens which were of exceptional quality. Most could easily be worn as is out of the bottle. The notes were presented on scent strips and attendees were encouraged to share impressions and guess the note, then an explanation of provenance along with images and key words were shown. A few waves in the air of the Rose & Patchouli scent strips pretty well covered most recent niche releases - makes you wonder a bit. Those of us who attended (and didn’t misbehave) were given a complimentary bottle of L’Homme or Idylle.
The actual mounted exhibition followed a history of perfume from antiquity right thru to the present day.
There were items from the Perfume Museum of Grasse and it was by no means a Guerlain exclusive line-up as number of classics were paired – Guerlain Vol de Nuit and Caron’s En Avion, for instance. Also, the section showing modern compositions of note included Caron Pour Homme, Lubin Idole, MDCI Invasion Barbare and others from The Different Company and houses well known on basenotes.
Several of the pillars housing the Guerlain historical scents were fitted with a ‘sniff port’ so you could lean in and ‘take a passing hit’ of Apres l’Ondee or Vol de Nuit.
The Exhibition catalogue enabled anyone to peruse the exhibition at leisure, but the highlight for me was being walked thru the whole thing one perfume at a time by Jean-Marie Martin-Hattemberg, who had an incredible knack for bringing the whole thing to life.
The little distillation thing (highly technical term ☺) belongs to Anne Camilli’s husband. It is a scale model presented to his great-grandfather by a Russian (I believe) builder a century or so ago, as a submission for his perfumery in Grasse. The real thing was duly installed and is, of course, huge. Nice little piece of memorablilia.
Some more pix - difficult shooting thru glass