Pleasures, Taboos, Magic: Art History in Perfume Advertising
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?
Complimentary mixed drinks provided by Viva32 Tequila
Jessica Murphy holds a Ph.D. in art history and has worked in the museum field for more than a decade, concentrating in American art and audience engagement.