That is, borrowing ill-fitting terminology from art history can make it seem as though the world of perfume is too insecure to develop terms and contexts of its own. Almost any work of art, in any medium (even scent) can be made to fit almost any of art history’s period categories, if you shoehorn hard enough – but the question remains, does the shoe fit? Or actually, there’s a much more pressing (and, I’m afraid, crueler) question and issue involved: That the very categories you want to “borrow” from art history no longer have much currency among art historians.
— Blake Gopnik, responding to Chandler Burr. They’re discussing the exhibit The Art of Scent 1889-2012, which has just closed, and more particularly, Burr’s classifications, which borrowed from the terminology of art movements and periods.*
* The scents for the exhibit were: Guerlain Jicky (Romanticism); Chanel No. 5 (Modernism); Givenchy L’Interdit (Abstract Expressionism); Clinique Aromatics Elixir (Early American School); Drakkar Noir (Industrialism); Thierry Mugler Angel (Surrealism); Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey (Minimalism); Estée Lauder Pleasures (Photo Realism); Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (Kinetic Sculpture); Prada Amber (Neo-Romanticism); Hermès Osmanthe Yunnan (Luminism); and Maison Martin Margiela Untitled (Post-Brutalism).