There is not much to see, but definitely a lot to sniff at at the olfactory art exhibition ‘The Art of Scent 1889 — 2014’, hosted by the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain. Curated by Chandler Burr, former perfume critic at The New York Times, the exhibition is an updated version of a previous exhibition that was presented in the New York Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in 2012. Like its predecessor, it presents perfume makers as artists, placing their olfactory works on the same level as creations of art, literature and music.
In addition, this exhibition also reveals the relationship of each perfume with emblematic works of art history: with a QR code, it is possible to discover works of visual art which, just like the perfumes ‘on display’, were icons of their time. The exhibition presents a total of eight artistic trends within the field of olfactory arts:
Romanticism: Jicky by Aimé Guerlain for Guerlain.â€¨ Modernism: Chanel No5 by Enest Beaux for Chanel.â€¨ Surrealism: Angel by Olivier Cresp for Thierry Mugler.â€¨ Neo-Romanticism: Prada Amber by Carlos Benaïm, Max Gavarry and Clément Gavarry for Prada. Photorealism: Eau de Lierre by Fabrice Pellegrin for Diptyque. Figurative contemporary: J’adore L’Absolu by François Demachy for Dior. Neoclassicism: Aqua Universalis by Francis Kurkdjian for Maison Francis Kurkdjian. 20th century retro: Aura by Emilio Valeros for Loewe.
Smells Like Art: Olfactory Art Exhibition in Madrid Explores Over 100 Years of Perfume-Making