Love (Potion) on the Rocks

Kazimir Malevich, poor and desperate for a commission, borrowed his friend's coat and headed off to answer a perfumer's call for a bottle that would capitalize on the frenzy over Robert Peary's 1909 trek to the North Pole.  As the incredible mag ArtChronika tells it, this shabbily dressed Suprematist, eventual King of the Black Square, got the job and created one of Russia's most iconic cologne bottles.  Brocard & Co. pumped out these polar bear bottles of Severny ("Northern") cologne through its years as "State Soap Factory No. 5" and then as "Novaya Zarya" until the 1970s. You can find one in most Russian homes today.


  1. How do you know this! Amazing bottle, xv

  2. Hannah says:

    I've only recently come across your blog (via the Snail and the Cyclops) and I think it's fantastic. The pictures of your home have had me searching antique apothecary on ebay like a mad woman!

  3. columnist says:

    I think some of your other readers will beat me to it - where to find one of these beauties?