Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Greenwich Must See: Fanning The Senses

This bottle with its mirrored casing was designed by Christian Dior personally and you can see the fan advertising it.

The Fan Museum in Greenwich has come up with yet another fascinating exhibition. This time round it's all about the parallels between fans and perfume. It may seem all too obvious for visitors of this quiet Greenwich treasure (the only one of its kind in the world) that fans would actually be the main attraction but trust me you're in for as much a surprise as I was. It was all about bottles. Perfume bottles that is.

Perfume bottle with its advertisement on a fan (Dior)

It was fascinating to see not only the bottles of some of the most famous Perfume Houses (Christian Dior, Bourjois, Penhaligon's, Guerlain, Roger & Gallet, Floris, and Angela Flanders) dating back to 1900 but also how these bottles of scent had much in common with fans. It was striking for me to know from the museum curator that at the beginning of the 20th century perfumers very often used fans as advertising giveaways to present a new fragrance to the press or to their best clients. Samples of these are beautifully displayed in the exhibition and I couldn't have enough of them, myself an avid collector of scent bottles for so long.

A fan similar to this one can be bought at the Fan Museum shop.

However, let's not forget about the fans here. The exhibition displays them in all shapes and sizes artistically decorated with floral motifs of every kind from Europe and Asia. Craftsmanship at its finest. Truly mesmerizing. So this June, if you're touring the open gardens of the National Gardens Scheme, this exhibition with its own unique and beautiful take on flowers should be a must on your list. The exhibition ends July 1st.

Fan Museum
12 Crooms Hill
Greenwich, SE10 8ER
Tel: 020 8305 1441

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