This article is not an exhibition review, but more a visual journey of an exhibition I’ve recently enjoyed visiting: Perfume at Somerset House, London.
In the first room, famous perfumes in their bottles are displayed to introduce the subject. Then, a member of staff gives you a paper and pen: it’s now your turn to play. The following room are installations. You can touch them, go around and of course, smell them, as each represents a particular scent, which has made history. You have to find the perfume and write its name on the paper. Answers and information are given at the end.
I was terrible at it. I found none. But it did not matter: I had fun. I engaged with the space and felt like I was part of the exhibit. I was entertained – and I strongly believe that it is one part of a museum’s job – and I also engaged and learned. I left excited about what I had just experienced, and, to the museum’s success, with the certitude that a perfume is more that just a scent: it is a concept, an attitude, a lifestyle. I highly recommend it.
The installations are minimal and beautiful and the atmosphere very serene, almost ceremonial, which actually works perfectly with the nature of perfume. It has made me want to share some visuals here.
N.B.: the pictures, simply taken with a smartphone, have not been edited in order to keep the original feeling of the exhibition.