Christie's Classic Week Auctions

New Meets Old: An olfactory exhibition

Art Exhibition

Airparfum collaborated with London-based art curators Artphilia in a pioneering, multisensorial exhibition – the first of its kind in the UK – re-imagining scent elements from Ships in distress off a rocky coast, by 17th-century Dutch artist Julius Porcellis for the British Auction House Christie’s during their “New meets Old” Classic Week auctions.

On display between December 1st and 7th, 2023 the olfactory exhibition represented a new way of making sense of Old Masters, inviting the audience to dive deeply into the seascape painting with their sense of smell.

Three unique scents were developed by perfumer Camille Latron associated with pictorial references within Porcellis’spainting. The perfumes, named The Tempest, Caught in Ocean’s Grip and Rocky Shore each captured a different element of the seascape painting.

Scottish artist David Cass painted 500 Years re-imagining Porcellis’s work, describing a future scenario in which global warming has pushed up sea levels by well over one meter – outlining a future we must strive to avoid.

During the hugely popular Christie’s Lates event on December 4th Cass’s performance offered an alternative visualisation of this process, using sound to travel through decades of oceanic change. British fragrance brand Penhaligon’s who supported the exhibition joined a conversation with Christie’s Old Master Painting specialist and the exhibition’s curator Artphilia exploring ways how old masters influence the new.


December 1st to 7th of 2023