As “fragile” witnesses to the history of human costumes, the precious works in the Storp Collection that make up the exhibition Little Big Things will certainly fascinate visitors with their evocative power of inspiration, expressed through four main sections representing all eras.
Drom Fragrances has commissioned seven of their well-known perfumers to create fragrances, that serve as olfactory allegories dedicated to the themes of the divine, love and protection.
In each of those four sections, visitors can therefore smell fragrances interpreted by an emblematic flacon chosen to symbolize the given theme.
This section presents some exceptional pieces from antiquity and the preclassical era, illustrated using well-known mythological figures – a source of inspiration for the most successful perfume brands and an allegory of angels, cherubs, and putti.
This section presents the most classic and essential subject from the Enlightenment to the present day.
Especially during the Age of Reason, perfumes and their containers become “accomplices” of seduction, the language of love, and gallantry. During the industrial revolution in the mid-nineteenth century, rival brands competed to come up with ways to portray love, continuing to this day, where it resonates with all its past incarnations.
Visitors have the rare privilege of discovering the best pieces of the Worth perfume brand, which tell the exciting story of love in its most poetic form.
The increasing spread of Christianity in the Middle Ages marked a decrease in the use of secular scents in the West. People were afraid of drinking water and the possibility of an epidemic: perfumes therefore became a protective elixir for medicinal use. Meanwhile, containers made from precious materials were worn as decorative jewellery, for instance on belts and as pendants.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, new interpretations of the theme continued to develop, moving away from the original meaning and becoming a symbolic illustration that was either darker or, in some cases, more frivolous.
Perfumes and their containers became the most obvious way for people to express their individuality. With the development of niche perfumery, both the expression of individual personality and the desire to stand out from the crowd became fashionable in the late eighteenth century. At this time, a display case known as “The cave à parfums” allowed people to mix their own perfumes in the privacy of their living room. This trend continued into the twentieth century and led to the emergence of perfumes linked to designer companies.
Paul Poiret was the forerunner of this new genre, creating a fragrance as an accessory to complement his fashion collection. In the 80s, jewellers also began to find ways to accommodate the new demand for individual style in their creations.
In a display dedicated to Elsa Schiaparelli, visitors can discover how the sublimation of pain can open the door to creativity and success. Following the suffering she endured as a child, Elsa was able to offer her customers a bold and utopian vision of beauty.