perfume lover’s new york: 9 posts

Killer Heels : Fashion, Obsession, Beauty

In his 1701 portrait, Louis XIV of France wears red-heeled shoes.  While it seems like a minor detail, especially given the opulence of the king’s robes, the poppy red shade sends an instant message–status. Louis XIV even passed an edict limiting red heels to the wardrobes of nobility. Today, red soles are the trademark of Christian Louboutin, whose stiletto pumps cost upwards of $700. Not much has changed since the 18th century with regards to red heels and their mesmerizing effect.


The themes of status, fetish and fashion are explored in an exhibit “Killer Heels” hosted by Brooklyn Museum. “As fashion statement, fetish object, instrument of power, and outlet of artistic expression for both the designer and the wearer, throughout the ages the high-heeled shoe has gone through many shifts in style and symbolism. Deadly sharp stilettos, architecturally inspired wedges and platforms, and a number of artfully crafted shoes that defy categorization are featured among the more than 160 historical and contemporary heels on loan from designers,” explains the catalog.

The exhibit includes work of renowned designers such as Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, André Perugia, Prada, Elsa Schiaparelli, Noritaka Tatehana, Vivienne Westwood, among many others. It also traces mentions and depictions of heels in paintings and sculptures, some of which date as far back as the 12th century.

Even if you can’t make it to the exhibit, please take a look at the video on the Brooklyn Museum site.

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor
September 10, 2014–February 15, 2015

Image: Louis XIV of France by Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1701 (a detail).

JAR Jewels and Chinese Snuff Bottles

He is one of the world’s top jewelers and can turn stones into shimmering flowers and butterflies. His work has impeccable quality, virtuous color compositions and dramatic effects. Joel Arthur Rosenthal, a native New Yorker who has been working under the name of JAR in Paris since the 1960s, is notoriously secretive. Unlike his jewel neighbors at the Place Vendôme in Paris, his boutique doesn’t even have a window, much less jewels displayed for all to see. So, it’s a special event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to present an exhibit devoted to his work.  Jewels by JAR running from November 20, 2013–March 9, 2014 in Gallery 913 will feature more than four hundred works by Rosenthal, including his delicate blossoms, leaves and “witty objets d’art”.  


Once you’ve had enough of JAR’s diamonds, sapphires, garnets, topazes, and rubies, you can walk over to Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave) and try his collection of fragrances at the in-store boutique. Don’t miss Golconda, a bigger than life carnation, and Bolt of Lightning, an equally dramatic tuberose.

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at The Metropolitan Museum

From February 26 to May  27, 2013, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will present its new exhibit, Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity This exhibit was unveiled at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris last year, and I highly recommend this beautifully curated look at the role of fashion in the works of the Impressionists and their contemporaries. The exhibit is complemented by masculine and feminine costumes, period photographs, illustrations, and rare Guerlain perfume bottles*. It truly gives you a unique glimpse into late nineteenth-century Parisian life and society.


Highlights of the exhibition include Monet’s Luncheon on the Grass (1865–66) and Women in the Garden (1866), Bartholomé’s In the Conservatory(circa 1881, paired with the sitter’s dress), Monet’s Camille (1866), Renoir’s Lise–The Woman with the Umbrella (1867), Manet’s La Parisienne (circa 1875), and much more.

To find out more, please check the Met website.

Update: the exhibit will also travel to the Art Institute of Chicago, where it will be shown at Regenstein Hall from June 26 to September 22, 2013.

*as seen at the similar exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Painting: Claude Monet, Women in the Garden (detail), 1866, via wiki-images, some rights reserved.

Touring The Art of Scent Exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design New York

Victoria’s Note: Today Daisy Bow will take us through the Art of Scent Exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. You may know Daisy from her comments here and from her fun blog, Cool Cook Style. Daisy recently completed her doctoral degree in French Literature from New York University, and she is currently teaching a course on French Food and Culture as part-time faculty at the New School. Her love affair with perfume began with Dune at the tender age of 14. She has smelled great ever since. 

“Scent can do what all art does: change the way we perceive the world,” says Chandler Burr, the director of the olfactory art department at the Museum of Art and Design. According to him, the fundamental concept for The Art of Scent exhibit, its layout, and its chronological organization has its genesis in a talk that he gave in 2008 at The Times Center when he was still the scent critic for the newspaper. For the sold-out event, individual blotters for each of the 15 different fragrances chosen were provided to over 400 guests. As the runners did their work, Burr played a piece of music that was also representative of the style of the scent distributed. Each work was accompanied by visual presentations of painting, sculpture, and architecture too.


Since its opening in New York, much of the discussion on The Art of Scent has focused on how Burr uses different artistic movements and schools to talk about different works of olfactory art. Burr emphasizes that “none of these analogies are exact.” The parallels drawn between scent and other mediums exist to provide us an intellectual tool with which to talk about it as art. “I want to place scent as an artistic medium in the center of all the arts: music, dance, literature, painting, and sculpture. [Scent is] just one medium. Each medium is different. Some of them used certain schools and some of them didn’t. For example, Romanticism from roughly 1800-1840 was ascendant in literature, poetry, and painting. However Romanticism in music was in the late 1800’s. [Alfred] Einstein, the great cataloguer of music, takes the Romantic period up to 1940. Not every medium used it at the same time,” Burr explains.

Continue reading →

Scented Dinner at Jo’s Restaurant in NYC

This summer a Brooklyn based perfume line MCMC Fragrances is going to present a sensory dinner inspired by its collection. The dinner is created in collaboration with chef Tessa Liebman, who runs a private catering company called Methods and Madness.

The notes in the perfumes will be translated into tastes and textures. “Guests will be treated to a smoky mezcal cocktail with basil seeds and yuzu inspired by MCMC Love, and dine on duck confited in jasmine flowers inspired by MCMC Noble. Each course will be followed by innovative coffee palate cleansers created by coffee expert Ezra Baker.”

When: Sunday, July 29th, 6:30 pm
Where: Jo’s Restaurant (back room), 264 Elizabeth Street NYC
All included for $125 per person. Seating is limited to 30.  Tickets available at Via press release

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