“Not all perfumes are works of art (no more that all musical compositions are masterpieces) or incline one to grant them artistic status for the simple reason that they are more and more composed industrially and less and less by professional artists. As a result of this industrialization, which tends to replace true creative perfumers with prolific “mixers” and also vulgarizes the product, we have entered a period of artistic decadence with profit being the excuse for any kind of deformation of the product no matter how blatant” (see the full article here).
This statement by Edmond Roudnitska, a perfumer who was, first and foremost, an artist, inspired me to ponder, if perfume has a status of art, what are the criteria to judge its artistic merits? If the formula is an artwork, can it be reformulated? Or is it just a luxury commodity good? These are tough questions, and I do not have ready-made answers, however I would love to hear other opinions and to explore this topic further.
If you were to name a fragrance that should have a status of art, what would it be?
Photograph: Edmond Roudnitska, from art-et-parfum.