A new Guerlain museum is in the making. To begin to discover it, there is an exhibition which should delight Guerlain collectors and followers which opened on June 27, 2009 in the city of Eu near Dieppe in the Normandy region called "Du Bousillé...au musée Sylvie Guerlain". It will run until September 6, 2009.
The goal of this exhibition is to reveal to the public both the works of local glassmakers who would use leftovers from molten glass to practice during their breaks and to offer a first look at the reportedly fabulous Guerlain collection of Sylvie Guerlain a descendant of the family of perfumers. The link to glass-making is more generally meaningful also because it is in this region between Rouen and Amiens in the vallée de la Bresle that is located La Glass Vallée (Glass Valley), the world leader in the production of luxury flacons. The site covers 80% of the global production of fragrance bottles in the sector of luxury...
Sylvie Guerlain has been an avid collector of objects pertaining to the history of the house since its beginnings in 1828. The collection is said to have amounted to more than a 1000 items initially when the idea of a museum first emerged and is now over the 2000 objects bar. Many of the artifacts are still found in their original states sealed in their boxes. The catalog includes about 800 perfume flacons to date. While perfume is at the center of the collection, the history of the house is rendered more fully thanks to a more comprehensive interest for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, advertising, archives etc. The inventory still needs to be completed and the former owner (she has donated her collection) has reportedly been adding to the museum riches meanwhile. The Musée Sylvie Guerlain which was initially scheduled for a 2009 opening is now said to be planning for a 2011 inauguration. It will be housed in the Pavillon des Ministres at the Château d'Eu, in the very room in which king Louis-Philippe held his government meetings.
Among the rarer artifacts one can find a 1875 bottle specially created for the Prince of Wales, the son of Queen Victoria, and bearing his coat of arms. It is thought to be a unique museum piece and was bought at an auction for several tens of thousands of Euros. A cylindrical bottle titled Véritable Eau de Cologne Supérieure was hitherto unknown and recently added to the collection; they are wondering if this was not the first bottle ever made for Guerlain.
The exhibit is the perfume lovers' chance to get an advance taste with this temporary summer event which will offer a preview of 50 fragrance bottles.
As Sylvie Guerlain was looking for a place that would be suitable to host her collection, she settled on the Musée des Traditions Verrières of Eu after rejecting a few other options that did not correspond to what she was looking for. The project has been in the works since 2004 although it has not been widely publicized at all.
In Eu one can also find a historic rose garden founded by Louis-Philippe in the 19th century and which is being currently replanted with antique roses. One more reason to visit this lovely town for the fragrance lovers.
Sources: infos-dieppoises.fr; loisirama.net; l'informateur; france soir; havre libre; la glass vallee; ville-eu.fr