James Turrell is Back, This time Designing Perfume Bottles
Art3 Minutes Read

James Turrell is Back, This time Designing Perfume Bottles

November 11, 2022 Share

From light installations to perfume bottles; James Turrell has ventured into the world of perfumery with some stupa-inspired glass vials.

You may know James Turell for his colourful light installations, or you may know him because of Kanye West, but now he might become the next big thing in perfume design – after Elon Musk’s Musk, of course.

Perfumes from Lalique and James Turrell. Image courtesy of Dezeen.

The geometric glass vials were designed for the French perfume brand Lalique, notably named Range Rider and Purple Sage. They come in two shapes, one round and dome-like whilst the other is an angular translucent pyramid; but both are inspired by the form of ancient Asian stupas – and they just look like the sort of art collectibles you’d want exhibited in your bathroom shelves.

Stupas are buildings associated with Buddhism, and were usually erected to contain relics and usually found in South-East Asia. You may also know them as dagobas or chedis. They are usually compose of a dome-like structure and a chhatri, which in overly simplistic terminology looks something like an antenna perched atop the semi-sphere.

Perfumes from Lalique and James Turrell. Image courtesy of Dezeen.

Despite the new realm of art Turrell has ventured to, his ultimate medium is light, and that is precisely what he hoped to manipulate and diffract with the glass, which is why it was specifically manufactured to have the same glass thickness all around – otherwise it would diffract light differently. With only 100 bottles available to the public, Turrell’s perfume bottles are true, collectible, works of art.

Turell was also part of the team that worked on the scents and the wooden boxes (also reminiscent of the ancient stupas) and carved in wood. According to the artist, the Purple Sage scent was inspired by the Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Gray.

“For me, this very evocative fragrance is a combination of scents – purple sage and old rubbed leather – the same ones that cling to our chaps when my wife Kyung and I return to our ranch,” he spoke to Dezeen.

Perfumes from Lalique and James Turrell. Image courtesy of Dezeen.

Albeit a first time venture for Turrell, designers creating perfume bottles is not something exactly new in the field. We have seen Frank Gehry doing the same for Louis Vuitton, and British-Ganian David Adjaye did some whiskey bottle designing for Gordon & MacPhail.

Perhaps he’ll design a chair next?

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