Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year of Smells ...

Wishing you 
a New Year 
Full of
New Smells

photo: WindSculpture Lura Astor

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scent Categorization

... we each must figure out how we categorize smells
and even categorize
how our interpretations can fluctuate and be influenced.

- Lura Astor click here

The following is from
the long awaited book
Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent
by Jean-Claude Ellena
Perfumer at Herm├Ęs 

"In order to judge perfumes that have outlasted time I use today's nose, whereas for new perfumes I use yesterday's nose. 

And I realize that memory works in such a way that perfumes, which are not experienced with excitement and passion, which are not linked with a personal story or, in our business, with the training of the nose, are devoid of meaning and leave no trace in the memory. I thus conclude that evaluation by categories, by classification, is not enough for me. This perception of perfume is too analytical, too distanced, to move me. In order to discover a perfume, I have to enter into it and grasp it from the inside. Once it is separated from its external apparel, I can appraise, judge and decide.

I also notice that my perception, my understanding, and my judgements of perfumes have evolved with the ideas, the values, the customs, and the tastes of society, and that the mental picture I have of perfumes has constantly altered and become richer. This means that I am constantly reinventing my representation of the past - the past that builds my future creations."

Illustration: Heart of the Matter Lura Astor

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sea Smells See Smells

Breathe deeply, and you remember that smell for the rest of your life, the bold, fecund aroma of the tidal marsh, exquisite and sensual, the smell of the South in heat, a smell like new milk, semen, and spilled wine, all perfumed with seawater.

- Pat Conroy The Prince of Tides

Growing up in New England there was a brisk, wake-you-up, salt-bite to any sea inhale. A coast away in California, the ocean scent is truly Pacific, not as stinging, more lulling.

photo: Ocean Rope Lura Astor

Monday, December 19, 2011

We Smell What We See?

 “They hear what they see.”

Bobby Darin as quoted in Dodd Darin's book, Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee by Their Son. Darin advises to always be a sharp dresser as a performer, and addresses his desire to stretch his musical range, not just be seen as Bobby Darin thus Mack the Knife et al.

I have a sense that people smell what they see.
Packaging, adverts, color choices, point of sale, all enter our perception field and affect how we interpret what we smell.

To get into the depths of interpreting smell, we each must figure out how we categorize smells and how our category interpretations can
fluctuate and be influenced.

Petal Fireworks Lura Astor