Updated: Nov 4, 2021
For a one-of-a-kind exhibition at Soho's coolest private members club, ten artists, ten scents, an avant-garde art gallery, and a forward-thinking fragrance distributor join forces.
A shared appreciation of beauty brought together Runway Gallery, a fashion focused art gallery representing an international line up of artists and photographers, and Aspects Beauty Company, an exceptionally adaptable fragrance distributor. The impulse to collaborate was immediate; all that was left was to define the proper project. That outcome is The Perfumus Affair. An exhibition that examines fragrance artistry through the lenses of painting, photography, and mixed media. In a multi-sensory exhibition that captures the essence of beauty in its purest form, ten original artworks will be presented with the perfumes that inspired them.
When asked of Daniel Syrett, Curator and Director Runway Gallery, why he chose to pair perfume and art he informed us: "I have always thought that art is about the senses – touch, sight, sound etc. When I was lecturing, I was part of a group of lecturers that wanted to bring food courses into the art department to give another dimension to the work that was being created. Scent has such a valuable contribution to make to sensory expression and I feel that perfume has been somewhat ignored by the art world."
We also spoke to Sharon Whiting the PR and Communications Manager Aspects Beauty Company who told us how they matched the artists and perfume brands: "The niche fragrance brands that we work with often have a particular art form as their inspiration. We selected brands that felt like a comfortable fit. L’Orchestre Parfum, for example, was born out of the creator’s love of music and in particular the artists and artisans that create musical instruments. We knew that brand creator Pierre Guguen would completely get the concept of what we were trying to create and so the pairing with French Cowboy felt very natural."
In a truly unique experience the opening night united artists, collectors and perfume connoisseurs and creators together for a moment of sensory awareness. People throughout the space shared this uncharted artistic experiences as they observed the works of art that were specifically created for the perfumes they were paired with. Both Sharon Whiting and Daniel Syrett shared their thoughts on what makes this show so unique: "You’ve got 10 different perspectives, ten different perfumes, 10 highly creative people taking inspiration from what they smell. The results are so interesting! Lots of the paintings have an incredible richness that is linked to the ingredients found in the fragrances. It would have been obvious to work with big names on this project but by working with emerging artists and boutique brands you get this unique collaboration as they are both doing things that are so different. Unusual inspiration from both sides, layers and layers of creativity, everyone loving what they are doing."
The Perfumus Affair is available for private viewing at Soho’s best kept secret, the spectacular Blacks Club at 67 Dean Street, London W1D 4QH. In November the exhibition will move to Jovoy Perfumery in Mayfair and be open to the public.
Event photographs by Benjamin Wetherall