Perfume exhibition at Abu Dhabi International Airport

The forthcoming Masters of Fragrances Exhibition at Abu Dhabi airport offers visitors the chance to see, sample and purchase one-of-a kind fragrances in designer bottles.

Amouage Crystal Rock perfume in hand-sculpted bottles. Courtesy Masters of Fragrance
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If you happen to be travelling through Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 1 between April 11 and June 12, an exclusive exhibition of perfumes will take you on a journey through the world's finest scents, and might just awaken you from your jet-lagged haze.
The creators of the Masters of Fragrances exhibition are offering travellers the chance to see, sample and purchase one-of-a kind fragrance art pieces, the likes of which have never been seen in an airport before. There will be 26 distinctive fragrances from 22 renowned brands on display, including exclusive fragrances from the world's most iconic brands such as Dior, Givenchy and Salvatore Ferragamo. The exhibition will be run by DFS Group, the world's leading luxury travel retailer, which operates 18 Duty Free stores in airports around the world.
The wow factor
"It is fair to say that each of the individual objects will present its own 'wow factor'," says the DFS chief operating officer Michael Schriver. "It's impossible to describe just how unique the pieces on display are as they have to be seen to be believed. Many of the fragrances and the bottles have been created exclusively for the event and are global firsts."
The bee's knees
The exhibition's most cherished piece will be Guerlain's Dh2 million Le Secret de la Reine, held in a bee-shaped vial that can be worn as a pendant or brooch and set with 14 carats of diamonds. Also on display will be BVLGARI's Dh1m Opera Prima, made from Italian Venini glass and adorned with diamonds and citrine and containing scents of lemon and orange blossom, and Amouage's Dh552,000 Crystal Rock, encased in bottles hand-sculpted using 18th-century techniques. Perfume prices start at Dh5,000.
A fragrance boutique
Coinciding with Master of Fragrances, DFS is also unveiling its new Fragrance Boutique at Abu Dhabi International Airport's Terminal 3, offering visitors the opportunity to discover fragrances from all over the world, many of which will be exclusively available to DFS in the Middle East.
Scent of a woman (or a man)
The perfume connoisseur Michael Edwards shares his tips on buying the perfect fragrance
Before Masters of Fragrances opens at Abu Dhabi Airport, it will be unveiled at an invitation-only gala event on Thursday at Manarat Al Saadiyat, where attendees will get the chance to meet the world's leading perfume expert, Michael Edwards. His guide, Fragrances of the World, is considered the essential tome by perfumers. He shares his expertise on the subject.
When sampling a perfume, how do you know it's right for you?
It's important to test it on a paper blotter and not on the skin. This allows you to experience each phase of the fragrance as the perfumer intended. The top, middle and base notes are the three phases through which a fragrance develops. The top notes are the ?rst impression of a fragrance. As they fade, the heart or middle notes bloom - you should always therefore ensure you continue to "test" the fragrance over a period of time, ideally two to three hours, to enable the full structure of the scent and not just the initial burst of the top notes. The base notes of the fragrance bind the other ingredients together and create the memory that lingers in your mind and on your skin. If you are sampling a number of fragrances together, make sure you "neutralise your nose" by smelling coffee beans between fragrances - this will allow you to experience each fragrance individually and not become confused and overwhelmed.
Which perfumes would you regard as the most influential in the history of fragrance?
Jicky (1889) was the first modern fragrance. It turned perfume into an art form. Chanel No 5 (1921) has originality and enduring appeal. Brut (1964) was influential, because without its immortal line: "If you have any doubts about yourself, wear something else," men may never have been induced to accept fragrance. Charlie (1973) persuaded women to buy perfume for themselves. Opium (1977) was perfumery's first blockbuster, and Giorgio Beverly Hills's (1981) success persuaded department stores to treat fragrance as a core product. Angel (1992) was the gourmand success that everyone followed and, finally, CK One (1994) rewrote the perfume rule book.
Which are your all-time favourites?
Dior's Eau Sauvage and Guerlain's Habit Rouge were the first colognes I bought in Paris in 1968; they remain my firm favourites to this day.
Which types of scents are the most popular?
In the West, florals and Oriental florals. Among men, aromatic fougères and woody Orientals - fougères with an Oriental twist.
Where should perfume be applied for maximum effect?
Perfume can be applied on pulse points where the skin is warmer - inside the wrist, inside the elbows, below the earlobes, at the base of the throat and anywhere you can feel your pulse.
artslife@thenational.ae