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July 07, 2010

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Anne

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing this. I'm like you - I like perfume for the perfume more than for the bottles. (But then decants are always a disappointment too, aren't they, b/c of their anonymity.) What a snouty little fella that pig is. Just wanna take him home. I guess the exhibition had to stop somewhere but if they had nudged it a little later some Kenzo bottles could have been included. They are the most thoughtful bottles I know (not that I'm an expert!) and they are not made of absurdly expensive materials either. Their success is just based on good design. (I would exclude Ca Sent Beau from that - I bought a bottle recently. Adore the perfume, but the bottle??!! Someone made a critical error of judgment there.

So a question - were the bottles in the exhibition all chosen for excellence in design, or for the cultural or historical significance of the perfume as well? Personally I don't think that Shalimar bottle is an aesthetic triumph, but you would not argue with the greatness and the influence of the perfume.

Olfacta

I guess I should put by Bal a Versailles in the hard-shell case away for posterity. I bought it on fleabay last year for ten bucks. Of course that was LAST year -- I think the sellers are now wise to the demand for vintage perfumes.

Beautiful exhibit. Only a day's drive away. Hmmmm...

Perfumaniac

Hi Anne, I imagine it was hard to choose what would be in this exhibit. It did attempt to span quite a length of time, and clearly our attachments are to a pretty small segment of 20th century perfume.

I think the 20th century perfumes were chosen more for their cultural/historical significance, but in the case of L'Air du Temps, Chanel No. 5 and a few others — design as well. The earlier perfumes were chosen to mark a cultural/technological/economic shift and how the perfume bottles reflected that shift in design or availability to the masses.

The exhibit ignited for me a spark of interest in perfume bottles, but I'm like a dirty old man who sees a beautiful woman and can only imagine her naked. Nice clothes, I say to the perfume, but I can't wait to get you home! (Did I really just make that analogy?)

Perfumaniac

Olfacta, I was eyeing that Bal à Versailles like a bank robber eyes a pile of cash. You should keep it under lock and key. As for visiting this exhibit...if you do, look me up!

Angela Cox

What a wonderful exhibition , I love the Shocking bottle.

Perfumaniac

Hi Angela, the Shocking bottle is pretty great. Alas, it's not in the exhibit, but other fabulous bottles I couldn't include in this post are! Thanks for stopping by.

Olfacta

You're based in Nola? I didn't know that! I have a whole bunch of relatives in Bay St. Louis, and we usually go to see them every year or so and then go over to Nola to eat, mostly. If it was December I'd be packing the car to go see this exhibit. But...July...will think about it anyway!

Perfumaniac

Olfacta, July in New Orleans is something else. But yes, great eating and a wonderful perfume bottle exhibit. Do it!

Flora

Wow, what a feast for the eyes - too bad it was not for the nose too!

I want that adorable little pig flask!

Perfumaniac

I know, Flora. It was hard just to look and not sniff. :( And yes, piggy was adorable. To think he traveled all this time without getting hurt.

Linda Bertin

Does anyone know what is the year or value of a round carboard container of shalimar plastenes filled with perfume. The carboard container also has an antique marble on top. I also have the same for white shoulders.

LB

Larry West

I am a photo-historian who also collects vintage (1850-1910, Victorian) perfume bottles with a vintage photograph on/in them. They entail many nice European & American designs, plus they contain daguerreotypes,ambrotypes, tintypes,paper, or celluloid photos. The whole history of early photography---worldwide.
I even acquired a collection of 12 such pieces, with photographs of African Americans! Thank you; your exhibit is a fine eye-opener. LJW

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