The Art of Scent
  -    -  The Art of Scent


“The Art of Scent 1889-2012”, an exhibition curated by the founder and curator of the Department of Scent Art at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and the former New York Times perfume critic Chandler Burr; presented by Akbank Private Banking, opening at ISTANBUL’74 Teşvikiye Gallery on March 23, 2018, in correspondence with the launch of A Journal, a digital journal of Akbank Private Banking that discusses inspiring topics from different areas like art, architecture, design, fashion, lifestyle, travel and technology, within a global perspective and dialogues.

The Art of Scent Features Pivotal Modern and Contemporary Works Including Chanel N ̊ 5 by Ernest Beaux, Jicky by Aimé Guerlain, Aromatics Elixir by Bernard Chant, Light Blue by Olivier Cresp, Pleasures by Annie Buzantian and Alberto Morillas, and Untitled by Daniela Andrier.

Shown for the first time at Museum of Art and Design in New York in 2012, “The Art of Scent 1889-2012” is a study on the evolution and design of fragrances, focusing on twelve scent works made between 1889 and 2012 that have significantly impacted the medium. On view March 23, 2018 through April 13, 2018 at ISTANBUL’74 Teşvikiye Gallery, the exhibition situates the history of scent within the larger aesthetic and historical context of the major art mediums, from painting and sculpture to architecture and music. Each scent will be experienced individually, taking the form of twelve stations of scent set up in the gallery space.

 “The Art of Scent 1889-2012” curated by Chandler Burr is the “first museum exhibition dedicated to exploring the design and aesthetics of olfactory art.” Olfactory arts have historically been overlooked as a significant creative practice. The exhibition is predicated on a simple proposition: Scent is a major art medium that will, within a few decades, be universally recognized by art historians, critics, gallerists, and collectors. Today, the recognition of scent, just in its initial phase, is equal to what photography was in the mid-20th century. New materials and technologies that have appeared since the 19th century have transformed the medium and have been used by scent artists to achieve previously unimaginable works. Chandler Burr has selected the twelve scents in the exhibition according to their significance in revealing the changing aesthetics of the medium or illustrating major innovations in scent design. 

The exhibition presents the work of some of the most significant modern and contemporary scent artists who continually push boundaries of structure, behaviour and style. Their works delight, mesmerize, shock, and do what all art does: change the way we perceive the world.

These artists include:

Ernest Beaux, who in 1921 used chemical compounds known as synthetic aldehydes in combination with a floral structure to create the first great modernist work with Chanel N ̊ 5; 

Bernard Chant, whose Aromatics Elixir (1971) was one of the great mid-twentieth century works that brought America into the forefront of perfume creation; 

Annie Buzantian and Alberto Morillas, who in using a carbon dioxide extraction in their influential Pleasures (1995), mainstreamed a major technological advance in the medium and altered olfactory design; 

Oliver Cresp, whose Light Blue (2001) presents a straightforward “still life” of scents from the natural world without ornament or aesthetic subtext; 

Jean-Claude Ellena, who pioneered a minimalist school in scent with works such as the light and brilliant Osmanthe Yunnan that have maximal impact; and 

Daniela Andrier, whose Untitled (2010) is an ingenious neo-brutalist work that references nature both violently and abstractly. 

Other works of olfactory art featured in the exhibition include: Jicky (1889) by Aimé Guerlain; L’Interdit (1957) by Fabrice Fabron; Drakkar Noir (1982) by Pierre Wargnye; L’Eau d’Issey (1992) by Jacques Cavallier; Angel (1992) by Olivier Cresp; and Prada Amber (2003) by Carlos Benaϊm and Clément Gavarry. 



Chandler Burr created the New York Times perfume critic’s position, which he occupied from 2006-2010. He is author of two non-fiction books on scent, “The Emperor of Scent ” and “The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris & New York”; the latter began as an article Burr wrote for The New Yorker called “The Scent of the Nile.”

In 2010 Burr founded the Department of Scent Art (DSA) at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. His first exhibition as the Department’s curator was The Art of Scent 1889-2012. In 2014 he curated “Hyper-Natural: Scent from Design to Art” at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. He also creates scent dinners around the world collaborating with chefs including Lea Linster, Daniel Boulud, Vito Mollica, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

He is author of the novel “You Or Someone Like You.”