Glithero designs scenography for fragrance exhibition in Lausanne
Visualising and explaining the art of perfumery is by no means a straightforward task, which makes ‘Nez a Nez’, an exhibition dedicated to highlighting the different creative processes in perfumery, currently ongoing at the Musée de Design et des Arts Appliqués Contemporains (MUDAC) in Lausanne, an impressive feat. Aimed at revealing some of the inner workings and know-how of how the world of perfumery works, MUDAC’s exhibition casts the discipline of fragrance creation in the light of an applied art, much like fashion, which takes into account how the end product is ultimately used.
At the heart of the exhibition, MUDAC has chosen the creations of 13 perfumers from different countries, backgrounds and stages of their careers to highlight the complexity of the industry. From veterans like Jean-Claude Ellena, who famously worked exclusively for Hérmes from 2004 to 2016, and Dominique Ropion, who has given the world such iconic fragrances as Thierry Mugler’s ‘Alien’ and Frédéric Malle’s ‘Portrait of A Lady’, to more niche talents like Isabelle Doyen, best known for her fragrances for ‘Annick Goutal’, and Olivia Giacobetti, who runs her own label Lunx in addition to creating scents for Diptyque, the exhibition not only touches on each perfumer’s individual creative experience, but also identifies shared themes within the group as well.
The exhibition’s ephemeral content is grounded through dynamic exhibition design, created by London-based studio Glithero. Spread over six rooms, Glithero has created six unique and (at times) interactive installations that each reflect a different facet of the perfume world, while requiring visitors to engage in novel ways. In one gallery containing fragrances that celebrate innovation, Glithero created an installation of conical glass vessels filled with perfumes, which are kept closed by a ping-pong ball, attached to a large helium balloon. Visitors can experience each scent by pulling down on the string of the balloon.
In another room where the perfumers are known for being more flamboyant and extroverted, the perfumes are presented in the form of scented fans, which visitors can open and draw out from within a table. Another installation, anchored by a custom-designed stained glass window featuring images of perfume bottles through the ages, visualises how the perfumers draw inspiration from historical formulae to create the scents placed there.
Although interactive, Glithero’s founders Sarah van Gameren and Tim Simpson were insistent that each installation would still allow visitors to form their own impressions of the fragrances on display. Immersive yet witty, their novel approach sets the senses alight. §