Opium was originally designed for Kenzo but Kenzo thought it was too Japanese. Then Yves wanted something that was orientalist. Big success.
Ahead of a retrospective at Liberty's in London, Pierre Dinand talks to director Jeffrey Darling about his journey of design through fragrance.
Pierre Dinand’s career has seen him consult every major fashion house for the creation of their fragrance bottles. From Dior to YSL, for whom he designed the iconic ‘Opium’ bottle, Dinand’s stories and legacy spans over 50 years. Trained as an architect, Dinand is both an artist and designer, with his designs pushing the boundaries of traditional perfume bottles, defining his iconic approach and style to fragrance.
For Map of the Heart, Dinand created a bottle which resembled the anatomical heart. His design challenges the comfort of fragrance bottle design with its signature of the heart in all its ugly beauty that fits perfectly in the hand.
Pierre Dinand is invited to select his favourite 30 bottles to exhibit in a retrospective at Liberty London. The exhibition will show from 30th March to 4th April, accompanied by an ‘In Conversation’ with the designer Saturday April 2nd.
Jeffrey Darling’s short film which documents Pierre Dinand in his studio and around Paris will also premiere at the exhibition. We spoke to Darling about his experience working with such an icon and their collaborative approach for Map of the Heart.
“Pierre took us into his heart and opened up much of his fragrance world."
How did you approach Pierre Dinand for the Map of the Heart project?
Jeffrey Darling: Sarah (Blair) discovered Pierre Dinand after researching some of the most iconic bottles that we loved. We approached him and he was immediately engaged in the project. I think it was because it was somewhat refreshing, as much of the fragrance world is like many other business areas, and has become designed by committee meetings and boardrooms and outcomes being weakened because of the process. Pierre lives for a personal response to the creators. After meeting him, he took us into his heart and opened up much of his fragrance world to us. This was invaluable. It gave us a key into Paris and a legitimacy in dialogue with places we sought to connect with.
How did you come to this unique anatomical heart-shaped bottle, which will be one of 30 iconic bottles selected for Dinand’s Liberty London exhibition?
Jeffrey Darling: The design process was over a period of a year, whereby it was very much a back and forth from a creative briefing and understanding the possibilities of what could be done in glass. Even for Pierre, the Map of the Heart bottle was a huge technical achievement, more for it’s fluid form and it’s asymmetric sensibility.
Since the design, Pierre has remained a close part of our story, always interacting with us creatively. He has become a true spirit force of what Map of the Heart is becoming.
Your short film with Pierre cements his legacy in the fragrance world, and will premiere alongside the exhibition.
Jeffrey Darling: The film is a conversation with Pierre into some of his back story, how he happened in to such a design world and the intriguing people it has presented to him over and over again. It represents a number of his bottles and recalls stories, but these are endless. He has done some 700 bottle designs working with the heights of fashion collaborators and iconic perfume houses, becoming the instigator of many fragrance icons.
Directed by Jeffrey Darling
Interview by Map of the Heart