Finders – keepers? Rebrand of Guerlain’s perfume Djedi from 1927. The school assignment was to rebrand a historic perfume that no longer is in production. The perfume’s new costume is a political statement and raises the complex question of who the museum’s collections actually belongs to.

Guerlain’s perfume Djedi was created in 1927, inspired by Egyptian mythologi – shortly after Howard Carter discovered the grave of Tuthankhamun in 1922 and old Egypt became a worldwide obsession. 

What happened to all the artefacts and archaeological finds that were rediscovered? They ended up behind glass in museums across the globe. But who does the objects actually belong to? Are the finders automatically the keepers?

It’s a complex question from many aspects; legal, ethical, historical and political. Because it’s not just about the objects – but about cultural and historical identity. Hundreds of years of colonial power have left their mark.

It’s not only the society that has changed since the launch of Djedi in 1927 – but also the role of the museum. From acting mostly as exhibition spaces, museums has increasingly become places for discussion and conversation; to question, broaden perspectives and view history with new eyes.

But one story the museums like to keep quiet about is their own. The norm in the museum world har long been not to talk about or problematize the orgin of the collections.
My re-design of Djedi makes a political statement and raises the question about ownership and colonial heritage.

For the packaging design, I used the silouettes of some of the artefacts that are requested back by Egypt but still are being tightly held by museums around the world:  the Bust of Nefertiti, the Rosetta Stone, the the Zodiac of Dendera, the Statue of Hemiunu and the Head of Tuthankhamun.

Showing the objects as silouettes is common in museum displays that house many objects. The perfume bottle itself is also re-designed as a black silouette with my updated version of the logo as a pyramid-shaped cap.

(Images are 3D-mockups)