All Photos are courtesy of Museum für Gestaltung of Zurich
Perfume is the potion that keeps many fashion houses afloat. It is couture’s raison d’ętre: not many can afford a custom-made $30,000 Dior, but its aura is absorbed by J’Adore,
Miss Dior, et al. – well within the budgets of the masses who want a splash of luxury. And when a designer’s spring collection fails to spark sales, a signature fragrance often keeps his
label from going under. Zurich’s Museum Bellerive celebrates the art of essence in the exhibition, Bottling Seduction.
Although the French would like you to think they invented perfume, making fragrances actually goes back to before Christ. The exhibition features ancient bottles for keeping perfumes,
but the real attractions are the vast array of flacons dating back to the mid 19th century. The French did excel in making fabulous objets d’art to house your favorite scent – the crystal
creations of Lalique and Baccarat are breathtaking. But also interesting is the evolution of the bottle: once extravagant in its fabrication, it has become architectural in its sleekness
over the years. The epitome of chic now means the cool lines of a Chanel N°5 over tasseled atomizers, gold filigree and Belle Epoque luxuriance.