Luxury Fragrance Meets Art with Officine Universelle Buly 1803 x Louvre Paris
Here at Love Happens, we absolutely adore fabulous collaborations. Combining art and history with a youthful concept, luxury label Officine Universelle Buly 1803 paired eight of the world’s leading French perfumers with pieces of artwork from the Louvre to create a new luxury fragrance collection.
Every Tuesday the extensive lines and chaotic crowds diminish from the Louvre Paris. Each week, for one day, this monumental museum is closed for housekeeping. To put things in perspective, 10.2 million people walked the halls of this 652,000 square foot museum in 2018! Yet, once a week throughout the entire year, the art lived quietly and at peace.
Taking full advantage of the day at peace, the Louvre decided to take on a collaboration project. So they found the perfect partners – Ramdane Touhami and Victoire de Taillac-Touhami husband and wife founders of Officine Universelle Buly 1803. The project features the historical context of the famous museum, paired with youthful creative talents that hold honor to French brands. The goal of the Louvre – to adopt a more creative form of merchandising – and what better concept than a unique luxury fragrance collaboration.
Concept to Boutique
The result of the collaboration is a pop-up boutique located in the shopping arcade under IM Pei’s famous glass pyramid. And eight limited-edition fragrances inspired by historical artworks in the museum.
Each luxury fragrance is available in four forms. “Alabasters”, small stones that act as fragrance diffusers. Eau Triple, a Buly 1803 innovation consisting of a water-based formula with slight hydrating qualities and a gentle wafting of scent. Scented Soap Sheets, thin sheets of saponified cellulose which dissolve upon contact with water, inspired by the tradition of Japanese “Kami soap”. And lastly, a Scented Postcard featuring the associated work of art.
The Louvre had many choices when it came to creative marketing strategies and collaborations. They chose the Touhami’s as a testament to their uniqueness and style. The aesthetic and creativity that the Touhami’s previously produced honored history combined with something new, and beautiful. This was the perfect concept for the Louvre.
The concept began as a fragrance being able to tell a story about a work of art. Incorporating another sense that we usually do not associate with historical art. Whether you decide to bring the scent home with you or not, you will forever associate a scent with a piece of art located in one of the most famous museums in history. The Touhami’s chose perfumers, some old colleagues, some new ones. And on one of those quiet Tuesdays at the Louvre, the perfumers got to walk in and explore the artwork, until they felt most inspired.
Meet The Amazing Perfumers & The Artworks Which Inspired Their Luxury Fragrances
The Valpincon Bather ‘La Baigneuse’ by Daniela Andrier
Daniela Andrier chose to base her scent on Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ Valpincon Bather (La Grande Baigneuse), 1808. Andrier stated, “The painting is quite obviously already perfumed”. And about her job and the collaboration concept, Andrier noted, “…I think of perfumers as translators, capable of transforming a color, light or texture into a particular note”.
La Venus de Milo by Jean-Christophe Herault
The absolutely iconic, Venus de Milo was the inspiration for perfumer Jean-Christophe Herault. The warm mandarin and amber in his inspiration came from reflecting on what he believed Venus would smell like walking down the street today.
Winged Victory of Samothrace by Alienor Massenet
Perfumer Alienor Massenet chose the Winged Victory of Samothrace. The sculpture of the goddess, Nike, mounted on the prow of a ship. A piece that emanates a strange juxtaposition of romance yet terror. This scent was inspired by tuberose, Mediterranean jasmine, magnolia, woods, and myrrh. A combination of scents intended to evoke seawater.
More to Love:
Conversation dans un Parc by Dorothee Piot
Dorothee Piot chose Conversation in a Park, by Thomas Gainsborough. As opposed to direct information from the artwork as inspiration, Piot took a different approach. She recognized, the woman in the 1745 painting lived during the time when cologne was becoming popular. She composed her perfume of peppermint and citrus mixed with bergamot.
Saint Joseph the Carpenter by Sidoie Lancesseur
Although none of the scents sold are explicitly for one gender or another, this next perfumers scent applies to both genders more than some of the others. Selecting the painting Saint Joseph the Carpenter, Sidonie Lancesseur was inspired by the contrast of warmth yet vibrancy of the light. This reflects in the painting and now in the perfume. The scent flourishes with cedarwood to evoke a carpenters wood shavings, and orange blossom to contrast.
La Grande Odalisque by Domitille Michalon-Bertier
Domitille Michalon-Bertier chose Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ Grande Odalisque as the inspiration for her fragrance. A scent defined as incense and pink pepper enhanced with intensely musky notes.
Le Verrou (‘The Lock’) by Delphine Lebeau
Perfumer Delphine Lebeau created a bewitching scent with tones of lily flower and musk inspired by Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Le Verrou.
La Nymphe Au Scorpion by Annick Ménardo
Annick Ménardo created a luxury fragrance with an enticing bouquet of heliotrope and jasmine, with amber and musk inspired by Lorenzo Bartolini’s Nymphe au Scorpio sculpture, 1835.
Words by Samantha Baird
All Images Courtesy of Officine Universelle Buly 1803