Our Offices & Partners Abroad

For detailed information please click on the offices and cultural centres below. For further information on the headquarters in Zurich please go to: www.prohelvetia.ch

Design Focus

MUDAC Tells the Story of Contemporary Perfumery in Shanghai


Exhibition: Nez à Nez: Contemporary Perfumers
Date: August 24 to October 25, 2019
Venue: power station of DESIGN
Price: Free
Organizer: power station of DESIGN
Curatorial Team: Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains
Support: Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council
Special thanks to Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai

“Nez à Nez: Contemporary Perfumers”, an exhibition curated by the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (mudac) earlier this year, will be on view in  Shanghai Power Station of Design (psD) from August 24 to October 25, 2019. This exhibition will display 39 fragrances from 13 of the best contemporary perfumers including the Swiss brand Vero Kern.

“Nez à Nez”– which literally translates as “nose to nose” – draws attention to the fact that this is not an exhibition to be “viewed”; instead, one needs to “smell” it. Unlike typical perfume exhibitions, “Nez à Nez” focuses on the creative processes of perfumers themselves. Across a series of interactive installations,  this exhibition will present a fresh and fragrant celebration of smell.

According to statistics, there are only about 400 fine perfumers working worldwide, which is remarkably fewer than the number of astronauts. The surprising scarcity of professionals in perfume design reflects the painstaking and challenging work demanded by the industry. Tracing the careers of thirteen individual perfumers, the exhibition will focus on a number of themes: Simplicity, Innovation, Carnality, Mastership, Tradition, and Nature. Whilst each perfumer entered the industry for a variety of reasons, they all completed rigorous training and carried out extensive research, learning how to balance ingredients and discover their own individual identities.

Perfume is like a kind of poetry that floats in the air. By awakening people’s sense of smell, a fragrance can evoke powerful memories and inspire new emotions. In order to allow visitors to experience these transient aromas, this exhibition will set perfume free from traditional containers and bottles in an innovative installation that presents fragrance in a new context. By interacting with specially designed fans or soaking up the atmospheric qualities of painted glass, visitors can experience perfume in a completely new light. Through these mysterious instruments and magical smells, we can open up endless imaginary worlds.

Participating Perfume Designers

Olivia Giacobetti, Jean-Claude Ellena, Pierre Guillaume, Céline Ellena, Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Vero Kern, Maurice Roucel, Dominique Ropion, Isabelle Doyen, Patricia de NicolaÏ, Lorenzo Villoresi, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, Fabrice Pellegrin

Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.


Search for "pro_helvetia" in the wechat app or scan the QR code.