The Louvre has tasked French fragrance experts with working out what the Venus de Milo would smell like.
The Parisian gallery wants to develop a fragrance based on the 2,000-year-old Greek goddess of love statue as it launches its own range of perfumes.
Art bosses have hired two experts, Ramdane Touhami and Victoire de Taillac, to find the right notes for the Venus, as well as other Louvre treasures such as the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
However, there will be no perfume for the Louvre’s most famous work, Mona Lisa – who will guard her fragrance, like so much else, secret.
The Louvre has called in French fragrance experts to develop a fragrance for the 2,000-year-old Greek goddess of love statue Venus de Milo (pictured)
Touhami and de Taillac have roped in some of the biggest stars of the fragrance world to help them in their task.
The pair, founders of the Officine Universelle Buly perfumerie, were also asked to pair fragrances with works such as the ‘Grande Odalisque’ and ‘The Valpincon Bather’ as well as Gainsborough’s ‘Conversation in a Park’.
Not included: Mona Lisa (pictured), the Louvre’s most famous work, will not have its own fragrance
Also among the paintings chosen is Fragonard’s ‘The Bolt’, the famous seduction scene that some feminists critics now say raises questions of consent.
They argue that the woman in the scene appears to be resisting the young man as he bolts shut the bedroom door.
Touhami told AFP that he wanted to gather the very best noses for the job.
‘It is about adding an olfactory dimension to a visual experience. I chose eight parfumeurs, all stars and gave them 100-percent freedom, with no limit on their budgets,’ he added.
Dorothee Piot, who works for Robertet house in the French perfume capital of Grasse, chose Gainsborough’s 1745 masterpiece.
‘I wanted to create something fresh and delicate to go with their bucolic exterior scene,’ she said of the self-portrait of the artist with his wife Margaret in a Elysian English landscape.
‘I loved the candour and the grace of the two of them, so I came up with a perfume inspired by roses that have just come out surrounded by greenery,’ she told AFP.
Museum spokesman Adel Ziane said the idea of the perfumes was ‘to help wake all the senses of visitors as they view the work at the Louvre.
‘I think that the scents have a lot to say on the collections, particular the ancient works,’ he said.
The eight different fragrances will be uncorked and will also go on sale at a pop-up shop from July 3 until January next year.