11th Edition of Off Fashion Perfumum Contest for Designers and Fashion Enthusiasts 23 May 2012, 19:00

zapach luksusu offThe Scent of Luxury Exhibition is a unique project created by Katarzyna Sosenko, an art historian and daughter of one of the greatest private collectors in Poland.
Taking advantage of her contacts with the antiquarian market and knowledge of art and aesthetic canons, she was searching beautiful artefacts that document this fashion area.
The Exhibition shows the history of perfumes as a luxury product throughout a few hundred years. Chronological arrangement, making up the principal narrative, allows for step-by-step illustration of historical and stylistic periods, starting from prehistory, through the Baroque and Rococo, to the Biedermaier era, Secession and Art Deco.Read More

Another thread of the Exhibition is presentation of various materials (glass, crystal, china, silver, precious metals, mother of pearl, semi-precious stones, plastics) and artistic techniques used to create perfume bottles.

The Exhibition is supplemented by such devices and inventions like sitting-room fans, dispensing aerosol scent in palace interiors, luxurious travel caskets for toiletries, china containers for potpourri, 18/19th century original Eau de Cologne bottles from renowned European china manufacturers, containers and accessories from a perfume laboratory, a key-lockable bottle.

The Exhibition includes several hundred perfume bottles and beautifying objects. Gathered for more than ten years in Poland and abroad, the most interesting items give a vast coverage of the subject.

The most beautiful bottles belonged to European aristocracy and were custom-made in artists and artisans’ workshops. Therefore, the exhibits make us aware of objects commonly used by our most prosperous ancestors and give us an idea of the historical glamour fashion style.

This is a unique project in Poland that not only presents beautiful objects, but also brings us knowledge about historical chronology of perfume bottles and perfume industry. It is a journey into the past and an inspiring aesthetical experience.

The Scent of Luxury Exhibition is a part of the largest collection of  fashion accessories in Poland that includes such artefacts as pouches, handbags, hats and head gear, fans, umbrellas and walking sticks, buttons, lipsticks, powders and toiletries.


Some examples of item descriptions:

Known for its passion for arts, aristocracy highly appreciated peculiar and  unique objects, and surrounded themselves with valuables. Such a demand encouraged artists and artisans to create luxurious settings and receptacles, pondering to their tastes and inspiring their awe and reverence. The most exquisite forms and materials were chosen for noble scents – Biedermaier bottles (1830-1860) were tinted with metal compounds containing gold, cobalt, copper, zinc or even uranium. They often resembled miniature carafes, topped with an attractive corks, alluding in style to bottle bodies.

The late 19th century saw emancipation of perfume industry, which as late as 1850’s was considered peripheral to pharmacy and chemistry. At the Paris World’s Fair in 1867, perfumes and soaps had their own exhibition, and creators and designers of scents and perfume bottles were elevated to the rank of artists and masters.  
In 1920’s, Coco Chanel proposed a new fashion style, based on an image of a modern female. Coco brought about a revolution in the perfume industry, too, for the first time introducing aldehydes, that is synthetic flavours  imitating natural ones.

She asked her friend Ernest Beaux to make several samples which would be suitable for a “company” scent. Out of the presented samples, Coco chose the scent number 5 (that is why its name is Chanel № 5). A shape of the bottle, resembling rough industrial containers, was innovative, too.

Lou Doufmann’s project of 1921 was that much attractive because of its cubist form, corresponding with an architecture-like way of thinking, so typical of the Art Deco movement. What is more, this simple and elegant design, unchanged since 1921, has become a fashion icon of the 20th century.  

In order to strengthen commercial capacities, renowned perfume stores collaborated with outstanding artists. Alfons Mucha created industrial patterns for Houbigant, glass master Rene Lalique, associated with the design of the Rolce Royce statue, made bottles for Francois Coty. The latter, known for his sophisticated taste for scent formulas, was successful in managing his company in a modern way and meeting demands of the developing market. He was one of the first to introduce a scent line available for no-so-rich women. He acquired new customers by distributing free samples of his products. Coty was a pioneer in promoting new products through their design, packaging, promotion and retail distribution.  His talent brought him a huge fortune – he manufactured 100,000 bottles a day, and thanks to La Rose Jacqueminot, which was his first success, he was ranked one of the richest men in the world.  Soon after, he bought a French daily magazine Le Figaro, humorously termed les Cotydiens instead of les quotidiens since then.

Relation Exhibitions


Opening Ours



Tuesday - Friday







Kielce Cultural Center

Plac St. Moniuszki 2b

25-334 Kielce

woj. Świętokrzyskie