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…?
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 …