A scent of the 1930s
A few drops of perfume remain at the bottom of one of Hilda’s bottles, and on the inside of the engraved silver stopper a distinct scent hide. The ethereal drops will be analysed in order to recreate Hilda’s personal perfume.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020 this process has been postponed but will be resumed as soon as possible. We are looking forward to recreating the scent during the course of this exhibition.
4,000 years of scent
The word perfume stems from Latin, per fumum, meaning through smoke. The oldest perfumes we know of have been excavated by archaeologists on Cyprus and are more than 4,000 years old. In Egypt too, were etheric oils and ointments produced to access the gods during sacred rituals. The scents and the custom to use perfumes travelled to Europe with returning crusaders and finally settled in the perfume capitals Grasse and Venice.
Up until the 19th century, as good as all perfumes were based on natural floral and spice scents. New production methods and the possibility of manufacturing synthetic scent substances followed in the wake of industrialisation, making it possible to create abstract perfumes. The synthetic substances are also cheaper to produce, making perfumes a more common everyday trend in the 20th century. At least for the sophisticated – like for example shipping queen Hilda Erikson.