DuJour Navigation

New Work From Jean-Michel Othoniel

The artist, the subject of a current retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, has designed a beautiful bottle for a new Dior scent

People often hang their museum-quality art on the wall, but some sweet-smelling art aficionados will be keeping this particular objet in a more unusual place: the medicine cabinet.

Renowned French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum that covers 25 years of his stunning sculpture and ornate design. The show runs through Dec. 2 (another Othoniel exhibit, which is at L&M Arts in Manhattan, ends on Oct. 6).

However, the artist’s newest creation may end up being his most widely seen work yet. Othoniel designed the bottle for the Dior scent, J’adore L’Absolu Artist Edition, to be released in November. Each vessel is made from hand-blown Murano glass; its body is draped with glass thread embedded with gold leaf, and the stopper is a glass bead containing flecks of gold leaf. Only 300 bottles are being produced, and they’ll retail for $3500 each, a bargain compared to his other works.

Othoniel considers the Dior commission to be another part of his artistic oeuvre. In designing the bottle, he says, “I wanted it to still be recognizable. I started with the shape of a teardrop, which you can see in some of my works, and is one of the forms that I love. It’s already part of my language.”

He’s excited by the opportunity the bottle offers to reach a wider audience. “For me, the idea that you can possess the work is very important. I wanted to make a perfume bottle that can enter anybody’s home,” he says. “I want people to fall in love with my work, which was also part of the story of Dior.”