The Perfume and the Gallery

Published March 21, 2014

Since the Museum of Arts and Design in New York last November put on “The Art of the Scent,” a comprehensive exhibition stimlulating the nose instead of the eyes, fabricated aromas have been wafting into the art world atmosphere, aspiring to the esteem that visual works receive.

With acceptance from an avant-garde gallery, they have permeated the bubble. London’s famed Serpentine Galleries announced the launch of a signature scent, SERPENTINE. And it’s a fashion collaboration, too: Comme des Garçons Parfums lent the talents of creative director Christian Astugevielle, who composed a scent echoing Hyde Park, where the Galleries are located. If you were wondering, that’s something between blissful nature and bustling city–scent notes touch on grass, leaves, and pollen, as well as asphalt, and a touch of good ol’ pollution (in the perfume speak, that’s a combination of benzoin, a resin from a tropical Asian tree, and two types of wood, juniper and gaiÌ?ac).

Lest Serpentine Galleries didn’t bestow enough art world cred to the olfactory sense, artist Tracey Emin designed the bottle and packaging. The rectangular, clear flask reads “The Grass, The Trees, The Lake, And You,” over and over. Depicted on the box are a man and a woman embracing on the ground,
imaginably the lovers whispering Emin’s prose.


SERPENTINE  WILL BE AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT SERPENTINE GALLERIES, DOVER STREET MARKET LONDON & NEW YORK, AND COMME DES GARCONS PERFUME SHOP FROM APRIL 28TH. IT WILL LAUNCH WORLDWIDE ON MAY 5.