Pleasures, Taboos, Magic: Art History in Perfume Advertising

Presented with JWALK


It takes imagination to advertise perfume. Inside their bottles, perfumes are ephemeral and virtually invisible products---tinted liquids designed to evaporate as soon as they're used. For advertising's purposes, the experience of smell needs to be connected to the experience of sight. In this quest to promote scent through pictures, designers have often turned to art history for inspiration, quoting or appropriating works of art to create a mood, make a statement, or enhance a perfume's prestige. 

This illustrated Olio brings together ads from the past century that attempted to evoke (and sell) perfumes through references to fine art. Is a picture is worth a thousand sniffs?




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