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Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Calendar Idea - With Perfume Bottles, Not Naked Firemen!

I am looking despondently at the complimentary calendar on my office wall, courtesy of a curry house in Birmingham. It's big, it's glossy, it features a different curry ingredient every month - January seems to be star anise - which I am guessing from the shape, not being much of a cook from scratch.

It is okay, but it doesn't move me, and I want my office calendar to be tasteful, colourful and MOVING! Past art calendars that fitted the bill have included Rennie Mackintosh, Paul Klee and William Morris, but I couldn't see any this year that I liked particularly.

So this morning I googled "perfume calendar" and "perfume bottle calendar" and the best I came up with was the Events Calendar of the International Perfume Bottle Association, which is something entirely different indeed. Yet when you think of the combined membership of sites such as Fragrantica, Basenotes, Nstperfume, PerfumePosse and so on, what a large target market that would be for a perfume themed calendar, selling for £10 or $15, say?

It could showcase a beautiful bottle for each of the past twelve decades (just about - we may need to resort to Jicky to make up a quorum!), which would be like that beautiful coffee table book by Roja Dove, The Essence of Perfume, effectively turned into a calendar.

Or I could see one comprising just Lalique bottles, or Baccarat bottles, or Bohemian crystal flacons, or pretty atomisers with puffers, or a mix of all four. Or you could have just Guerlain bottles of whatever provenance, or just "vintage" bottles from wherever, or "drugstore classics" (for a laugh and a bit of nostalgia!), or an iconic scent created by each of twelve well known perfumers, or one created by a perfumer in each of twelve countries (if there are as many nations of noses!), or even portraits of the twelve perfumers themselves, holding one of their creations - after all, there are quite a few of them who are easy on the eye and/or my personal heroes!

What do you reckon, folks? If it seems like a goer, I might start googling some calendar manufacturers next. I shan't suggest doing one of "naked perfumers" at this stage...

6 comments:

  1. Good idea, naked fireman are soooo over now. Do Vistaprint do calendars?

    I guess the only issue might be copyright type stuff, given the brand protection policies of many houses. It would look so good though, I'd definitely be up for one.

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  2. Love the idea. We could even combine the naked firemen holding the perfume bottle? Okay, that would be off-putting.

    Looks like it's time for another Mrs. Bonkers project!

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  3. There has to be a way, and if copyright turned out to be an insurmountable stumbling block, perhaps one could persuade the perfume houses to make the calendar, and simply enjoy the end product as a consumer. Or pay the necessary fees for permission to use the images if it was a viable fumehead venture. And we know someone who might be able to line up a bunch of perfumers to participate... Maybe Roja Dove's PR people might not be a bad place to start to air the idea, as he clearly has acquired the rights to use a whole heap of luscious photos.

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  4. Ooh! No one's suggested the idea of naked firemen applying perfume?

    But, seriously, yes, that would be cool. I'd buy one.

    Hmmm. Are bottles copyrightable, or are they a Useful Object and thus un-copyrightable? They're certainly trademarkable, but how long does it take for that to expire after they're out of use, so that you could use discontinued vintage?

    Wish I were a lawyer. Just, you know, for as long as it takes to answer that question. It seems like too much work otherwise.

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  5. Well, I just checked the photos in Essence of Perfume, and some are courtesy of individual perfume houses or bottle makers like Baccarat, and some general shots - typically historical snaps of perfumers and fashion designers - are from Getty Images (for which I expect there would have been a fee). But a good number are just attributed to a chap whom I take to be the in-house photographer of Roja Dove's publishing company. So he seems to have taken a bottle of Madame Rochas, say, and just shot his own photo of it for the book. The photographer might have been funded by the publisher, but if you were self-publishing, you would have to line up your own. Or get permission/pay to use other, readymade images.

    I guess a lot would depend which bottles you plan on using. And as the houses might get business from having their products showcased in this way, they might be more amenable than we think?

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  6. Nice post, finding a good perfume is not a difficult job, but finding a perfume in antique bottle is quite difficult.

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