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Harrods in London is hosting The Perfume Diaries, an exhibition exploring the past, present and future of the fragrance industry. “So many people are fascinated by perfume,” said Emma Hockley, buyer, perfumery and cosmetics, adding she was inspired to work on the exhibition as she was struck by the wealth of brand and product information available to beauty buyers, whereas consumers generally have access to much less. “I thought it was a shame they don’t get to see that; they just see the finished bottle.”
The exhibition explores the history of fragrance chronologically and in a social context. For instance, the knock-’em-out-in-the-elevator scents of the Eighties will be highlighted against the decade’s greed-is-good backdrop.
Each of the fragrances chosen to be part of The Perfume Diaries was picked because of its influence on the industry or because it is emblematic of its époque.
Roja Dove, who curated the exhibition, said many exhibits will be on show for the first time. As well as bottles and advertising images, the exhibition, which will run through Oct. 2, incorporates other artifacts, too. A Dior Couture dress dating from the Forties, linked to the Miss Dior scent, is on show, for example, as well as the Van Cleef & Arpels pendant that inspired the brand’s First fragrance. Harrods also teamed with Givaudan on an exhibit, which explains how fragrance is made.
A lecture series will run in tandem with The Perfume Diaries, which is housed in Harrods’ Georgian Restaurant, with speakers, including Jean-Paul Guerlain.