Jeddah-based artist Dima Al-Rifai has found a unique canvas for her vibrant artwork – luxury perfume bottles. Teaming up with renowned brands such as Guerlain, Rubaiyat, Maison Crivelli, Sephora, Laure, Maison Origine, and Ormonde Jayne, the 27-year-old has carved a niche for herself in the world of olfactory artistry.
Al-Rifai, a self-taught artist, considers painting and drawing her doorway to relaxation. Reflecting on her journey, she explained how her creative imagination, honed during her interior design studies at Dar Al-Hekma University, could be applied to various surfaces – from canvases and walls to clothing and, eventually, perfume bottles. The transition to non-flat surfaces presented new challenges that fueled her passion for artistic expression.
Her collaboration with Guerlain unfolded unexpectedly when a customer, impressed by a customized denim jacket featuring Al-Rifai's art, shared it on Instagram. Guerlain Boutique noticed, expressing interest in her creating custom art for their high-end perfume bottles. Despite being unfamiliar with the task, Al-Rifai embraced the opportunity, spending days learning and experimenting with her own perfumes to ensure success. The collaboration proved highly successful, leading to repeat engagements with Guerlain and sparking interest from other brands.
The artist's journey began with a painting of Jasmin Bonheur from Guerlain, marking a pivotal moment in her exploration of perfume bottle art. Her recent collaboration with Maison Crivelli at the Laure perfume gallery in Jeddah showcased her artistic prowess and drew attention from the brand's founder and creative director, Thibaud Crivelli.
When asked about her inspiration for bottle art, Al-Rifai revealed that it often stems from the story behind the perfume. For brand display collections, she inquires about the inspiration and paints the vision that emerges when the perfume's story is explained. Customers sometimes request the same art as the display or ask for something personally significant to them.
Navigating the challenges of balancing creativity with socializing, Al-Rifai acknowledged the energy-consuming nature of simultaneously communicating and painting. Despite the difficulties, she emphasized the empowerment of her multitasking skills and the fulfillment derived from reflecting on her achievements at the end of each day.
Looking ahead, Al-Rifai envisions continuing her artistic exploration with painting. Her dreams, once unbounded, have materialized into collaborations with international brands. Now, she dreams of painting in Paris, the epitome of the world of perfumes.