Perfume Story: 2. Culture of Glass: March 2010 Archives

2. Culture of Glass: March 2010 Archives

Traveling around the world to research about perfumes, we can meet great people. One of these people which I met in São Paulo - Brazil, is Renata Ashcar.
She is a perfume culture researcher.
Brazil, one of countries that compound BRIC's, nowadays has been expected like a country to pull up the world economy. Its growth has increased the middle class population, that means, thanks to the stabilization on the economy and a balanced growth, one of serious subjects in Brazil, the poverty population rate was reduced.


PS: 2009 July data. In parentheses the % oscillation compared 5yrs ago. ∆ means minus. (Fundação Getulio Vargas archive)

It's obvious, Brazil's cosmetics market has also grown and Brazil today ranks third in global cosmetics consumption.

07's Personal hygiene, perfume and cosmetics global market (US$ Billion and %)

General growth of cosmetic and perfume market like above, of course, it means there is some important factor or people on background to sustain this growth.
One of these people is Renata Ashcar, who published the results of her researches about the culture of perfume. She published in 2001 the book : THE CULTURE OF PERFUME.
The book is written from the following 7 chapters:
1.    Perfume in ancient time
2.    Perfume in Europe
3.    The anatomy of a perfume
4.    A perfume named Brazil
5.    Perfume in Brazil
6.    Perfume in the 20th century
7.    The future perfume
As you can see from the title, the book presents the cradle of the perfume and details of historical tendencies that transformed the perfumery in something so loved for all people around the world, and also shows the singularities and particularities of Brazil into this culture.
Specially  great point of this work is that the book figures out, even a futuristic overview, all expects on Brazil  and its potential of perfume that is still hidden and not yet known to the world. To know what really is this and to look for the answer of these questions, this book should be essential-read for all people interested about perfume culture.

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photo_100302_01.jpgA heart-broken English lady was on the train, which just left the town of Calais in northern France.
She has been creating a sensation with her "mysterious disappearance" due to a temporary amnesia state of mind, caused by the stresses from her husband's infidelity and loss of her mother in the previous year. She was a woman of scandals who was just divorced with that husband, a few months ago. She was in fact Ms. Agatha Christie, a very popular crime fiction novelist at that time. She was on a trip to heal her heart,-on a trip to leave the issues of the past behind- just changing the destination from the resort of Bermuda islands to Baghdad. "This was my long-time dream to travel on this train", she said. Simplon Orient Express was increasing the speed to take her, long distance first destination of Istanbul.
It was a very long trip from Calais, Milano, Belgrade to Istanbu1. Here you'd travel across the Bosporus, then change the train to Damascus through Haidar Pasha and Aleppo, after running across the desert by bus, finally arrive in Baghdad. Friendly chats she'd had with other passengers, the scenes she has never seen before, the beautiful landscapes and just this attractive train itself, all must have been comforting her on this trip.
After this trip, those experiences she had, were written beautifully like scattered jewels in her novels. Since then she has been a passenger of this train every time she met someone of a destiny.
There she dramatically met and married to the up-and-coming 27 years-old archeologist Max Mallowan, who was younger than Christie and involved with the excavation at the site of Ur, at some distance from Baghdad.
The new chapter of her life as a mystery novelist started there, and she was contented and enthusiastically published many great books including the "The Murder on Orient Express" during 1930's.

photo_100302_02.jpgThe Orient Express around that time was 'deluxe'. The interiors were decorated in the 'Art Nouveau' or 'Art Deco' style, and there were many luxurious offerings that would make your trip ritzy and comfortable. Because the rich celebrities of various fields and countries were regulars on the passengers list, it created the legend of "running exclusive society".
The Orient Express was started by Georges Nagelmackers, a young Belgian banker who was inspired by the transcontinental railway he saw when he stayed in the U.S. He improved the trains further and started "International Sleeping-Car Company (Wagons-Lit)".
After that, it enjoyed its heyday around 1930's, the Orient Express expanded to the main four routes.
The glass art master René Lalique who was breaking new grounds in the field of architectural art from the decorative art at that time, was commissioned to design the de luxe salon-car "Côte d'Azur Pullman Express 4158 type". Together with the other beautiful interiors, his glass panel of a revelry celebrating Bacchus with the background pattern of scattered bunches of grapes was splendidly displaying young men and women enjoying the music and dancing. His glass works reflected and projected the room lights and sun light from outside and created ever-changing colorful atmosphere.
This train would later be led to a strange destiny.

After a short trip from the historical town of Odawara by the local train, there is Hakone Yumoto on the outskirts of Mt Fuji. From Hakone Yumoto, with the mountain railway repeating a few switchbacks and threading through the mountain hills, it would take you to Gora Spa. Gora is a historical resort area for royals and nobles, too. Further taking a little bus trip to the central area of Sengokuhara, you would reach to the "Lalique Museum, Hakone". Together with the residence of Prince Asaka Yasuhiko in Mejiro (the current Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum), this is one of the destinations of Lalique's journey. There, many of his jewelries, his first perfume bottle featured a cyclamen, the dragonfly mascot for the famous Bugatti and those architectural interior ornaments would talk to you in the words of his era. And the Côte d'Azur Orient Express, after running so many ages, has climbed up to the far end of the orient through Otome Toge, ending up this place. Now it sits with the other Lalique works silently like a guardian of time. The glass panel of the young men and women in "Figurines and grapes" decorating the train interior are still ceaselessly celebrating the revelry of Bacchus with the passions of Lalique and his age there.
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This page is an archive of entries in the 2. Culture of Glass category from March 2010.

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