Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Understanding the irony that perfumery
is full of ingredients that were once alive
in one form
and now in the ethers
into a different alchemy of form

Interest in Patrick Süskind's book and subsequent movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is helped by a lack of literature to satisfy growing interest in smell and scent.

Online perfume boards and blogs fan fragrance interest, pulling back curtains, peeking behind scenes.

Scripted "Reality" TV validates the interest in seeing behind the seens: everything from the making of cars and robots, to saving a beached whale or marriage.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer's behind the scenes fantasy perfume story repulses me. My relationship to perfume is different than Süskind's story of killing.

My relationship with perfume, fragrance, scent, and the art and science of smelling is about life and, beauty; about craftsmanship, containers, packaging, artistry, mundane details; intelligence for a mind that bores easily as a body moves through what we call architecture.

With smell's varying volatiles, I get to be entertained on many levels as I move through the world.

Loathing the combining of sex with murder and/or torture, my interest with fragrance is not about killing femininity to "possess" it, or hunting and killing virgins whatever gender.

The movie? The book? Scraping bodies of killed virgins to jar up scent.
A fictional fallacy for death changes odor, fear changes odor.

Perhaps a take on an old vaudeville joke?
No good virgin except a dead virgin?

Once one is no longer a virgin, to anything, a chapter of life has in essence died. Metaphorically, la
petite mort, the little death, references orgasm, post-orgasm, times when something dies inside of one, times when one dies and is reborn, as in the arms of a lover.

No telling necrophiliacs that the exchange of feminine and masculine energies is better live. A reminder for anyone who got tweaked in life - the feminine and masculine live within each us, at all times ...

While helping run a niche fragrance boutique, people came in asking if I'd seen the movie. Many were visibly shaken; men, women, old, young, representative of many cultures.

Responding, I have a different relationship to perfume, I'd embrace the wonderful bottles on the glass shelves with a sweep of my arms, it is about life, not death, and, I'd see calm grow visible.

I wasn't running a little shop of horrors with perfume equivalents of human meat pies. It got me to thinking that human memories of cannibalism and human sacrifice may be closer to the surface than thought, given the ratings of these stories.


look forward to
of the phases and cycles
of life-death-life


Pruning plants not killing them,
cutting hair not cutting the head off

an aspirational being about life and
the relational, inclusive,

rather than inabilities to fulfill;

one-sided, narcissistic,
(though I love the scent of live narcissus flowers)
demand of control of life and

control of death.

For that

I turn to Nature

if I'm lucky and
pay attention,
might learn something more

painting: Flieder und Tulpen
Lovis Corinth