Abstract in April… The Perfumed Dandy is Inspired Again


March was a maelstrom.

A magnificently busy month, crammed with meetings and movement, people and places, but sadly, very little perfume.

As exciting as the last thirty one days have been, they have also been remarkably, regrettably unscented.

Time to put that right.


A chance visit to a Bond Street gallery where the American artist Dale Chihuly, the man who is to glass as Dan Flavin was to electric light and Andy Warhol to silk screens, has a show on has quite reinvigorated The Dandy.

Strange how the senses are so connected: the sight stimulated, smell craves the same treatment.


A few images today that just miss capturing the all encompassing joyfulness of this collection of seemingly organic man made, hand blown glass enormities.


Tomorrow, some scents to go with these amphorae, vases and jars.

Their amorphous forms are so suggestive of aromas… perhaps you have a few fragrant thoughts of your own.


IMG_20140331_210502IMG_20140331_211934IMG_20140331_211516 IMG_20140331_213209



Red Storks, Green Snakes, Blue Flamingos



IMG_20140401_203749 (1)IMG_20140327_145540











Any olfactory ideas occur?

If they did do share.

I will tomorrow.

Hope you liked the images.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

Dale Chihuly: Beyond The Object is showing at the Halcyon Gallery 144-146 New Bond Street, London through 21st April 2014

All photographs by The Dandy with kind permission.


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23 responses to “Abstract in April… The Perfumed Dandy is Inspired Again

  1. Welcome back my friend. Love the art!

  2. rickyrebarco

    I love Chihuly’s art. I’ve seen a couple of his installations in botanic gardens in the U.S. The best one was at the Pittsburgh Botanical Gardens, just amazing. I have a whole Pinterest board of his art- such a talented man. I can’t wait to see which perfumes remind you of Dale Chihuly!

    • Dearest Ricky
      Yes, his Chilhuly’s botanic garden shows are tremendous.
      I caught the installations at installations at London’s Kew a few years ago and they were terrific.
      Off to check you Pinterest board with interest now!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. SallyM

    Utterly gorgeous! What a talent. This is what came to mind:
    Blue Flamingoes – SL Iris Silver Mist – I know Irises are more purple than blue, but the smooth, coldness of the blue glass and the tall, willowy shape put it in my thoughts.
    Amber – Another Uncle Serge – Ambre Sultan – warm, vibrant, rich, swirly – it wraps around in a swirl of fire.
    Hyacinth – Chanel’s Cristalle – to me, a brilliant shimmering fragrance, but sharp edged.
    What a fun interlude on n otherwise grey and dreary afternoon. Good to see you back!

    • Dearest Sally
      What wonderful ideas and at least one of them we have in common, though not for the same perfume!
      These splendid abstract forms with their hints at the organic: one feels sometimes the glass surface of thee sculpture might fracture and something living emerge from within, suggest so many scents.
      The weather has been sunny here but today we are afflicted with, of all things, sands from the Sahara, so the weather forecasters tell us.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Lilybelle

    I love Dale Chihuly! I saw an exhibition of his work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts last year and was blown away. http://www.vmfa.state.va.us/exhibitions/chihuly.aspx
    It’s good to see you back, Mr. Dandy! I’m looking forward to April. 🙂

    • Dearest Lily
      Oh I did enjoy that trip to Virginia!
      The most tempting thing about this exhibition was that the items were actually available to buy… a mere $50,000 for a small vase of $1 million for something more substantial. Even though I couldn’t help but think given the scale and impact of this beautiful things they rather merited the price tag!
      It’s good to be back, and I am so very keen to get my teeth into April.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Chihuly magic water garden? But I’d be too afraid of smashing something. I think I’ll just enjoy it in public spaces when I have the chance.

      • Dearest Lily
        I do know what you mean, the ceilings, as beautiful as they are, slightly scare The Dandy… I would forever be imagining some errant piece of glassware about to fall upon my or a dear one’s head!
        Botanical gardens and art galleries may well be the best places to appreciate this art.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  5. I’m in the camp of Chihuly’s fans as well. Thank you for the feast for our eyes.

    • Dearest U
      It seems to me that Chilhuly is that rare thing in contemporary art: an artist who appeals to the widest public at the same time as retaining his personal signature and the appreciation of his peers .
      Quite an achievement and the objects are just so splendid.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  6. rosestrang

    An amazing artist, and no wonder you were inspired Sir Dandy – they’re so elemental and fantastical! The blue one with yellow centre in the tulip series brings Le Parfum de Therese to mind, the lilac centred one titled ‘Departure’ suggests YSL’s Paris to me as I always find it quite crystaline and slightly aggressive. The last two in the amber series make me think of Havana Vanille, and though I can’t think of a suitable perfume for it the third one of the three ‘scarlet’ pieces is astonishing. It would be fascinating wouldn’t it, to see these being made?!

    • Dearest Rose
      Inspiring suggestions: I particularly like Parfum de Therese (I loved your piece on Roudnitska, but pesky technology wouldn’t let me comment!).
      And yes, there is a definite hint of Paris about ‘Departure’ (my name not the artist’s ), it’s the one I struggled with most.
      As to a glimpse of how these works are made: yes, Yes, YES!!! I wonder why there’s never a short film, this is the forth exhibition (on three continents) I’ve been to and documentary evidence is very scarce. Perhaps because the work is so often shown outside of the normal gallery spaces and therefore the realm of the traditional curator?
      Maybe Chilhuly wants to retain an air of mystery?
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  7. I could have sworn I saw a documentary on Chihuly…
    What I remember is that for any one piece there are at least eight people manipulating the glass because the art is so huge in scale, and the glass sets so fast…
    Back home tomorrow, huge hugs, V

    • Dearest V
      You have made The Dandy’s day… I knew that there must be a documentary lurking somewhere, but had not the intelligence to go a-hunting for it properly.
      I shall dive in when a hour or so of indulgent time arises. I am imagining the craftspeople balletically interweaving between one and other as they wind the glass into those astonishing shapes.
      I’m thinking of Claire Denis’ Beau Travail, but for craft rather than war.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

    • rosestrang

      Excellent find Vickie!

  8. Mary E.

    Mr. Dandy,
    I so love Chihuly’s glass blown sculptures. I went to read his biographical notes and see that he’s friends with Sir Paul Smith. Maybe one of his scents might work such as the one by famed perfumer Antoine Lie calle Paul Smith London Men. Antoine Lie also just came out with Oxygen (80) & Mercury (80Hg) for nu_be in Italy. Just some other thoughts to add to those marvelous comments by your other readers.
    Mary E.

    • Dearest Mary
      That Mr Chihuly and Sir Paul are friends makes perfect sense, a fascination with colour and organic, botanic forms runs, courses through both their work. I recently saw the Paul Smith show here in London too. Perhaps a snap or two of that should follow, here or at the Facebook.
      I actually rather like the new-ish PS perfume Portrait, especially that for men: a mix of blackcurrant blossom, myrrh, cardamom and pink pepper. Very modish, quite Jean Claude Elena meets Tom Ford, but altogether very, well, likeable,
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  9. batkitty

    What a wonderful photo gallery! I absolutely love Chihuly’s work (and the idea of linking perfumes and this beautiful glass). Just a few thoughts–the first photo and the one called Hyacinth made me think of Poison, with a rich purple/black heart and the shards of sillage radiating everywhere! The fourth photo, with its fantastic lighting and colors, is like Gruau’s illustrations, and the colors brought Diorella to mind for some reason. Such an elegant organic shape, and the shades from red to deep gold are spectacular. And the Green Snakes remind me of marshy reeds, I imagine them smelling like Weil de Weil.

    • Dearest Batkitty
      Really, when I see Chihuly’s work I’m forced to ask ‘what is there not to like!?!’
      Yes, I can see the reference to poison, it’s almost as thought the bottle is exploding in front of one’s eyes, much in the same way that they early oh-so-very-potent versions of the scent exploded to fill a room.
      Do you know, I don;t think I’ve written a scented letter on Poison… now isn’t that an omission?
      And now you say it, I can’t get Gruau’s illustrations out of my mind, so many of the lines are like his. Diorella, Diorling, Diorama… even the words seem to have a sculptural quality.
      Those snakes, Weil de Weil,: the perfume of a temptress if ever there was one!
      Thank you Batkitty for such exquisite ideas!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • batkitty

        Really? You haven’t written about Poison?! Please consider this a nomination to your official list and I hope to read about it soon!

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