BY Frieze News Desk | 26 JUN 19 News

Can Parisian Perfumers Help Louvre Create Eau de Venus de Milo?

The Paris museum is creating a collection of scents based on eight famous artworks

BY Frieze News Desk | 26 JUN 19 in News

Venus de Milo, 101 BC, marble. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Louvre Museum in Paris has partnered with a Parisian perfume brand to release a set of scents inspired by works of art in the museum’s collection.

The perfumes are based on eight of the most celebrated works on display at the Louvre, including the ancient Greek Venus de Milo (101 BC), Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’s La Grande Odalisque (1814) and Thomas Gainsborough’s Conversation in a Park (1740).

The Louvre approached Officine Universelle Buly, a Parisian perfumery founded in the late 1700s, and now run by Ramdane Touhami and Victoire de Taillac, to design a collection based on works in the museum. Touhami and de Taillac then commissioned eight perfumers to select a work and design a scent based on the artwork, with no limit on scent profile or expenditure.

Other artworks which inspired the collection include the ancient Greek sculpture The Winged Victory of Samothrace (190 BC), Ingres’s La Baigneuse (1808), Jean-Honoré’s The Lock (1777), Georges de La Tour’s Joseph the Carpenter (1642) andLorenzo Bartolini’s Nymph with Scorpion (1846–51).

Speaking to AFP, Dorothée Piot, a perfumer working on the project, described her perfume inspired by Gainsborough’s painting: ‘I wanted a fresh, delicate work, an outdoor, bucolic scene. I loved the candor and grace of the characters. To design my perfume, I thought of freshly hatched rose petals in a green setting.’

Daniela Andrier, another perfume expert, described the scent she created after Ingres’s La Baigneuse: ‘With her tender and milky skin, the water running, the linen on which she sits… I immediately thought of orange blossom, neroli, lavender, a rather modest accord evoking the sheets that have dried in the sun.’

The scents will be released on 3 July and will be on sale until January 2020.