Flirting with Fans

‘The Finding of Moses’ – Lawrence Alma Tadema

Flirting with Fans

I’ve been researching ‘how to perfume accessories’ and my interest was further piqued by articles I found on scented gloves and fans, etc and I remembered there was a Fan Museum in Greenwich; a well kept secret, this London gem is owned and curated by the charismatic and knowledgeable Helene Alexander MBE.

It’s been on my list to go-see and a visit was long overdue.  I was fortunate – it seemed that serendipity was smiling on me, as I found out that a fan (and a dress) made from fragranced perfume strips was on display, so I hightailed it down there to check out the exhibition ‘Air a la Mode’ by Sylvain Le Guen.   Sylvain Le Guen is a contemporary Fan Designer and his ‘fan architecture’ is truly amazing.

Unfortunately, I could not take any photos but here is a press image of the fan created by Sylvain le Guen using perfume scent paddles fragranced by Francis Kurkdjian, applied to 5 bands of folded paper.  The fan was specially devised to celebrate 10th anniversary edition of a perfume by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.  For such a ‘scentsory’ exhibition, it was a shame that you could not ACTUALLY smell the fan (nor the dress – sadly I could not get photos of this either!).  Perhaps they could have had little perforations in the cabinets through which the fumes could waft, or a few scent strips…?

Perfumed Pop-Up Fan – by Sylvain Le Guen

Anyway, isn’t this FAN-tabulous!!  The craftsmanship and creativity displayed at this exhibition was awe-inspiring – absolutely beautiful – it makes you crave to have a use for such a fan.    The use of hand held fans seems to have fallen out of fashion in the past century – those plastic battery-operated windmill things do NOT count!

There was a mini film running during the Exhibition, of Sylvain in his studio, talking about his craft and demonstrating some of his techniques.   I certainly cannot do his art justice in words, so by the power of You-Tube I bring it to you now; feast your eyes on this perfectly executed film clip below – dont worry if you don’t ‘parlez Francais’ – it is highly visual and a treat to watch:

Well, what an education – however, I did not leave anymore enlightened about how to fragrance a fan (or how they smelled!), and I doubt I would be able to make one on par with Monsieur Le Guen, no matter, let’s flutter on …


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About The Perfume Mistress

"If the eyes are the windows to your soul, then the nose is the doorway to your imagination" The Perfume Mistress Hello, by day I am a clinical aromatherapist and tutor, with over 10 years of working with natural materials and essential oils, by night I delve into the art of botanical perfumery, reading and smelling all things olfactory. I have set up the 'Nosetrodami Club' offering scentsory talks, discussions and master-classes on all topics and themes olfactive. I also offer one and two day workshops in the art of natural perfumery, natural and organic body & skincare. My inspirations range from the mundane to the metaphysical, the hum-drum to the hyperbolic which you may see reflected in my posts.
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