Saturday, January 17, 2009

Frags & Fumes™

Once I read Chandler Burr's book The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume and Obsession, I was hooked. Because of his story of Luca Turin's use of metaphor to explain the science and art of fragrance, scent, perfume and laundry soap, my scientific, artistic, sensory mind kicked in. A modern understanding of an old art form!

Thus began my research, and the archiving of a library of smells and chords into my imagination. The way musicians can hear notes in their heads, an artist can compose with color in the imagination, a choreographer choreographs in the mind's eye, someone involved with fragrance, such as perfumers, can smell fragrance in the mind's nose.

Thus began my journey seeking out the smells I read about and along the way I found a new way to enjoy history, my readings, and art. I met new people, discovered dusty bottles with resinous elixir left in them, and most importantly, a filter was found and integrated into how I move through life.

Scent informs so much of our experience. Life definitely becomes more entertaining when scent can be accessed consciously. An analysis can take place where you play the notes of scent like a musician plays, or hears, scales or chords or fragments of song, all this from the vapors of sillage while riding an escalator. You can smell the artistry of perfumers, how they sculpt the air with color through the medium of scent. Metallic, pastel, smooth, chrome, static, smoky, red then blue, vaporous, snakelike, all these are possible with the painting and sculpting of scent.

Ever since I was a kid I've been crushing leaves and peels and petals into my hands and putting the pills into pockets. Now
I have a language with which to better understand the intelligence and humor transmitted by smells, captured in scent.

Written under the influence of Pamplelune Guerlain Aqua Allegoria in the air (doesn't work on my skin), Dirty English juicy couture on wrist, Highland Lilac on my fingertips, lapsang souchong in the black tea.

make a splash