Perfumed Dreams

Salvador Dali Sleeping with Perfumed Pillow. April 12th, 1942. Image by Bettmann/Corbis

 
 

And it’s off to work goes Salvador Dali. His method of going to work is not that of the ordinary mortal. He lies on a perfumed couch in his studio with a handful of pencils. Perfume is then dropped on his eyelids to influence the character of his dreams, for dreams are the stuff of which surrealism is made.

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Excess of Perfume

“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot. ”

Salvador Dalí
Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp (1987) by Pierre Cabanne

 
 

Femme à tête de roses (Woman With a Head of Roses), Salvador Dalí, 1935

 
 

Drawing by Dalí, 1937

 
 

Package and bottle’s design of Daliflor (2000). Salvador Dali has 50 perfumes in his fragrance base. The earliest edition was created in 1985 and the newest is from 2014.

 
 

In Salvador Dali’s dream world astonishing transformations occur: around the waist and arm of a fashionable woman male hands are wrapped, and suddenly, her head blossoms into a bunch of roses, one leg is stiffened into that of a mannequin, the other flows into the drapery of her dress, whilst the furniture has become animate. The lonely petrified figure in the empty receding space and the cypress grove on the lion’s head recall the romanticism of Arnold Böcklin and Giorgio de Chirico. Dalí often replaced the human head with other heads or objects. He disliked the lack of intelligence and excess of perfumes of rich people around the surrealist group.