Museum of Arts and Design Presents First Museum Exhibition Exploring the Design of Perfume

The Art of Scent 1889-2012 is the first museum exhibition dedicated to exploring the design and aesthetics of olfactory art through twelve pivotal fragrances, dating from 1889 to the present, which profoundly impacted the course of the medium.

On view through February 24, 2013, at the Museum of Arts and Design, the exhibition examines major stylistic developments in the evolution and design of fragrance, and provides unprecedented insight into the creative visions and intricate processes of the artists responsible for crafting the featured works. Each scent is experienced individually in a special installation designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro that emphasizes the distinct combination of artistry and raw materials used in their creation.

Organized by MAD’s Curator of Olfactory Art, Chandler Burr, The Art of Scent explores the progression of olfactory art, highlighting the artistic and cultural movements as well as the social and political occurrences that influenced each scent artist in the creation of their work. The exhibition examines scent from the beginning of the late nineteenth century—when the introduction of synthetic molecules freed scent artists from the constraints of using all-natural materials, making scent a true artistic medium—through the present day. Opening with the work of Aimé Guerlain, who was among the first to introduce synthetic molecules alongside natural materials with the design of Jicky (1889), The Art of Scent then leads visitors through an olfactory experience that showcases some of the most significant scents created during the 20th and early 21st centuries, ending with Daniela Andrier’s neo-brutalist fragrance Untitled (2010). –