Monday, July 11, 2011

Composing /interpreting perfume to all the arts ie: Rothko, Matisse, Satie, Fellini, Donatello, Joyce, Newton.

am happy to again be busy with soundtracks but also my overactive mind keeps me up some nights until 4a.m. with visions of the artistic potential and excitement that I know is abuzz with natural perfumery.
I love the idea of combining poetry, music, visual arts and storytelling with natural perfumes. Not necessarily all at once, mind you. Yikes! Sensory overload!  I have always been a fan of very visual writing, poetry, impressionistic era music and cinema. Combining artistic vision with perfume asks the wearer to have patience to use their nose and really "listen" to the notes. Such as if you composed a perfume to a classical piece of music that lasted a half hour or a olfactory soundtrack to poem or film where there were fragrance clues. In all art it is open to subjectivity. 
I feel composing natural perfumes is like sculpture and painting as well. 
Just think of recreating a later Mark Rothko olfactory with perfume. He used great intense, soul wrenching blocks of symmetrical contrasting colors, counterpoised yet that work beautifully together.
Take for an example the Rothko painting below called,"Magenta, Black, Green on Orange". 
One could compose a perfume evoking the feeling and range of colors (open to personal interpretation of course!)  from this pallet of naturals. (colors may vary if you are using absolutes, co2's etc I only have the basic color from the template but you get the idea....)
Fathomless black- browns of:Labdanum, vetiver, oakmoss, tobacco & angelica and cardamom co2.
Greens:Wormwood, tarragon,
Absolutes of: hay, fir balsam, clary sage, coriander and an infusion of sweetgrass .
Yellows, oranges, reds/magenta: Lemon, tuberose, rose 
 These are seemingly odd combinations that actually blended judiciously work well for a very artful perfume composition.

As for literary references while working on my perfume, "The Lotus Eaters" I not only turn to the Lotus Eaters chapter in the epic poem "The Odyssey",  I look to one of my favorite writers James Joyce. In his own epic novel "Ulysses". One of my favorite chapters, #chapter 5 is ironically called "Lotus Eaters". It is fantastically descriptive, a bit vulgar for the time it was written.( I skipped using Tennyson's lotus eaters poem) Joyce's "Ulysses" may come across as grotesquely decadent, ugly, truthful, sensual, incredibly visually descriptive, erotic, obtuse, sickly and slightly stomach churning. Ahh, all the things I love to hate to love. Perhaps Ulysses is almost comparable to not being able to realize how sick or guilty you feel as you eat the best gargantuan piece of chocolate cake and chug a huge bottle of fine port while having an affair with a young model on a gazebo in Monte Carlo. This makes no sense because this is someone's dream (not mine, mine would involve me looking like a Helmut Newton model, a yacht, Monte Carlo, champagne and Leonardo Ara├║jo the coach of Inter Milan).
Here is a very small snippet from chapter 5 "Lotus Eaters" from "Ulysses"

From chapter 5:


P.S. Do tell me what kind of perfume does your wife use. I want to know.

He tore the flower gravely from its pinhold smelt its almost no smell and placed it in his heart pocket. Language of flowers. They like it because no-one can hear. Or a poison bouquet to strike him down. Then, walking slowly forward, he read the letter again, murmuring here and there a word. Angry tulips with you darling manflower punish your cactus if you don't please poor forgetmenot how I long violets to dear roses when we soon anemone meet all naughty nightstalk wife Martha's perfume. Having read it all he took it from the newspaper and put it back in his sidepocket.