Perfumery exhibition passes the smell test

The exhibition "Nez à Nez: Contemporary Perfumers" is being showcased at the Shanghai Power Station of Design through October 25.

The exhibition “Nez à Nez: Contemporary Perfumers” is being showcased at the Shanghai Power Station of Design through October 25.

Setting free the perfume from traditional containers and bottles, the exhibition features a series of elaborate installations that include folding fans, balloons and stained glass works. 

In French, “Nez à Nez” means nose to nose, suggesting that this is not an exhibition to be viewed but rather to be smelled. Different types of perfume are sprayed in sections of the exhibition each morning. 

Focusing on the themes of simplicity, innovation, carnality, mastership, tradition and nature, the exhibition traces the careers of 13 perfumers including Olivia Giacobetti, Jean Claude Ellena and Pierre Guillaume. 

Whilst each perfumer entered the industry for a variety of reasons, they all completed rigorous training and carried out extensive research, learning how to balance ingredients, and in the end discovered their own individual identities. 

According to statistics, there are only about 400 fine perfumers working worldwide, which is fewer than the number of astronauts. 

The surprising scarcity of professionals in perfume design reflects the painstaking and challenging work demanded by the industry. 

Perfume is like a kind of poetry that floats in the air. By awakening people’s sense of smell, a fragrance can evoke powerful memories and inspire new emotions. 

Through these mysterious instruments and magical smells, we can open up endless imaginary worlds.

Exhibition info

Date: Through October 25 (closed on Mondays), 11am-6pm

Venue: Power Station of Art

Address: 678 Miaojiang Rd

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