A Penguin commission for 100 illustrations is no small feat, but that’s exactly what the publishing house asked of Cynthia Kittler for a book chronicling the stories behind 100 perfumes. The German illustrator created masses of new black-and-white work for Lizzie Ostrom’s A Century of Scents, which runs through the Belle Époque to the nineties. For this, Cynthia has illustrated everything from 1923’s Le Dandy from D’Orsay (“the gender-bending perfume”) and 1994’s CK One from Calvin Klein (“the grunge perfume”) in a series that applies her usually colourful style to versatile monochrome work.
In her spare time, Cynthia has also been busy adding to an ongoing personal project of narrative illustrations inspired by travelling, which also feeds into a recent cover she did for an adventure-themed issue of Brummell. These unpeopled works show patterned poolsides and bedrooms in the late afternoon, and show a side to the illustrator’s work outside the confines of a brief.