My new Perfume Project

Very much inspired by René Gruau, who is a marvellous artist and draws in the Toulouse LAutrec vein
Je t’aime Dior
80 x 100cm
31,5” x 39,4”
acrylics on canvas

I love a good perfume. Ever since my teenage days I have had a penchant for the older chypre formulations. For many years Miss Balmain (1967) was my favorite fragrance, only interspersed with other scents to escape olfactory fatigue. ( The well known effect that your nose gets used to a scent when it’s always around)

At that time I didn’t know it was the special group of the chypres, but at some time it did start to cross my mind that whenever I particularly like a fragrance and read up it’s notes it turns out to be a chypre.

My chypre perfumes:
Pierre Balmain: Miss Balmain, Jolie Madame
Christian Dior: Miss Dior, Diorissimo
Chanel: Chanel no 19
Hermès: 24 Fauburg
Houbigant: Aperçu
Sisley: Soir de Lune

And somewhere in time I got a new bottle of Miss Balmain, and all of a sudden I didn’t like it anymore. Now it does happen that our sense of smell alters, but I think it was reformulated. They do that you know… They reformulate perfumes (and do not tell anybody about it) and it is never an improvement.
Now one of the basic ingredients of a chypre is oak-moss. And because some very few people tend to be a bit allergic to it it’s use is now severely restricted and all chypres ahve been reformulated (and maybe cheapened by exchanging the original ingredients for synthetics?)

Anyway, perfumes today are not what they used to be.
In comes the ”Vintage Perfume” and many searches on E-Bay… And while researching what really is the original formula, I came across many vintage advertisements, which I love, painted with a fast brush and beautiful colors! These were the days when models weren’t photographed, but send to artists who made drawings of them! The very best of these was Rene Gruau. I remember advertisements drawn by him from when I was a very small girl, and was hugely impressed by them.

I had to pay my homage. So I made these rather big paintings based on vintage ads and a famous vogue cover.

As I got more and more into vintage perfumes, I got fascinated by them, the advertisements, the mysterious worlds they invoke, the images in my mind of women wearing them… I decided I wanted to make my own advertisements, they are all meant to be from the fifties or forties.
Just wait for my next post!

I am now actually collecting these old perfumes, and wouldn’t it be fun to have an exhibition with the perfumes exhibited next to the paintings and small glass petrie dishes with a bit of chamois leather from which one could actually smell and experience these beautiful original perfumes?
I am looking for a gallery, or maybe a high end fashion shop!


  1. This is exciting – the idea of vintage perfume collection and advert-paintings! I look forward to seeing more. I like the Baiser with a blindfolded woman – does the perfume make her lose herself, hence the blindfold?

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