Until 17 September 2017
We were once lucky enough to go on a Perfumiers Course with Roja Dove, one of the top noses of the industry with his own very own line of perfumes, a scent room in Harrods and shop in Burlington Arcade. It was a fascinating time and made us realise just how complex and emotive the whole process of creating a perfume is.
We were looking forward then to the recently opened show, Perfume: A Sensory Journey through Contemporary Scent, at Somerset House featuring ten outstanding perfumes and their creators who have radically changed our thinking of what a fragrance is over the last 20 years. Forget trying to recreate a roomful of rose petals, these (sometimes self-taught noses) are trying to surprise and outrage us with unusual smells such as sweat and smoke, evoking a Moroccan desert and a Catholic confessional. It isn’t just the modern ‘fumeheads’ that are explored in this show, though, for one of the most interesting parts is the overview of 20th-century perfumery highlighting ten trailblazing perfumes of each decade of the 20th century. Starting with L’Origan de Coty (1905) and ending with ck one(1994), the original gender-neutral fragrance of western perfume culture that led the ‘clean’ scent trend.
And if the exhibition inspires you to explore further, don’t miss their series of talks by perfume pioneers with demonstrations at the Perfume lab, talks on the future of perfumes and the chance to create your own signature scent. See all the details below.