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Sillage de la Reine

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Sillage de la Reine, 2018

Nine French perfumes inspired by the perfume of Queen Marie Antoinette applied to solid resin granules, plaster, publicly available booklets and antique metal jewelry box lined with red satin.

Exhibition view at Museu de Arte Brasileira, São Paulo, Brazil

According to a Houbigant tale, when Queen Marie Antoinette was fleeing the French Revolution dressed as a mere servant, she was discovered because of her perfume. Nowadays, nine perfumes claim to be the scent once worn by the Queen.

A French-style garden was constructed in the middle of the museum with ten thousand roses made out of plaster. In the center of the garden, ten columns were symmetrically placed.

While walking through the garden, it's possible to catch the scent of some versions that could have been the perfume once worn by the Queen. These versions are available in souvenir shops, traditional perfumeries, and in the Palace of Versailles. Just like a fragrance lingers in the air, some questions also remain untouchable. Are any of these versions true? Which one would be the closest? And further: What smell could have led the queen to the guillotine?

Collection MAB/FAAP Museu de Arte Brasileira

This work was created during the residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, supported by the Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation.

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