Brilliant Perfume Silhouettes

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Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier
Classique by Jean Paul GaultierPhotography by Milo Reid

We examine the silhouettes behind some of the world's most iconic fragrances

When Coca Cola commissioned the design for their iconic bottle in 1915, the brief was for a "bottle so distinct that you would recognise it by feel in the dark.” This desire for an iconoclastic shape is one that permeates not only the world of soft drinks, but also that of perfume. The packaging of a fragrance has become an imperative part of an olfactory experience and, as photographer Milo Reid explains, "the bottles themselves become part of a ritual of preparation: washing, getting clothed, applying fragrance." In honour of the significance of their form, here he has silhouetted some of our favourites to draw attention to how recognisable iconic bottles are even when they are dramatically obscured: the organic shape of Comme Des Garçons' Amazing Green next to Prada's angular Amber; the twenties design of Guerlain's Shalimar alongside Marc Jacobs' hyper-kitsch Dot.

"For me black and white really makes one concentrate on form, which was important to these images," says Reid. "Also, I recall a quote from the director Bela Tarr who said that 'black and white is more colourful than colour'. This stuck with me and I definitely find truth in that idea, looking at all of those shades of grey in between." Here, we present his greyscale interpretations of some of the world's most celebrated perfumes; from Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique to Guerlain's Shalimar, Byredo's Bal D'Afrique to Prada Candy. Abstracted from their scent, they become objects in their own right.