Swiss artist and photographer Christelle Boulé has made a career out of turning the invisible into something tangible. Over the years, her visuals have been able to convey specific scents, sounds and emotions in photographic form. Most recently, Boulé collaborated with perfumier Maison Francis Kurkdjian to bring his fragrances to life in an exhibit called, Expanded Drops.
The Expanded Drops series was created by Boulé using old-school dark room techniques. She places a few drops of perfume onto photo paper, allows it to dry, exposes it to light and then submerges the print in development fluids. What makes Expanded Drops a true collaboration is that Boulé used the raw materials that Maison Francis Kurkdjian uses in crafting his fragrances, resulting in a unique print for every one of his fragrance offerings.
The abstract shapes and colors that ultimately appear, Boulé told me, depends on the size and weight of the molecules of the perfume ingredients. For that reason, no two prints will come out the same—similarly to how certain scents will come up differently depending on the person who wears it.
This past weekend, Boulé showed off her latest work here in New Jersey at Neiman Marcus Garden State Plaza. The retailer set up a walkable gallery on the second floor and allowed guests to simultaneously sample Francis Kurkdjian perfumes while viewing Boulé’s corresponding prints—offering an innovative and experimental sensory experience. Light bites and festive cocktails were served alongside.
Aside from just indulging their senses, event-goers were also able to purchase any of Boulé’s prints and Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s perfumes. The artist now heads off to Miami for the series’ next installment.