Those of you that haven’t read Septimus Piesse’s seminal 150 year old text, The Art of Perfumery, should pick up a copy and absorb it. Piesse was a British perfumer far ahead of his time. He wrote that “scents, like sounds, appear to influence the olfactory nerve in certain definite degrees.” – an idea that I explored back in the first issue of ODOU.
Lenor in Japan took his concept of scents on a scale, and the concept of a perfumery organ, one step further – creating a literal Perfumery Organ, an instrument that plays both sound and smells.
As is now an annual tradition, we look back at our favourite launches or discoveries from the past year over at Basenotes.
For me, my favourite discovery was the gardens at Art et Parfums, which I was lucky enough to visit back in early September. Sadly, the legendary lily of the valley from which Roudnitska draw the inspiration for Diorissimo was not in bloom (too late in the year), but I did visit the spot and imagine how he must have been inspired by the incredible gardens.
You can read the article here.
In celebration of Francis Kurkdjian’s Twenty years of perfume poetry, I took a look back at some of his greatest hits over the years, his best perfumes for Basenotes.
Since writing the article, I’ve also had the pleasure of sniffing Baccarat Rouge 540 – a fragrance that had it already passed my nose, would have been included in the list. It’s a fascinating journey through the process of creating Baccarat’s signature red crystal and the heat required to do it – atypical in its look at the red and hot themes in perfumery.
You can read the article here.
Body of Songs is a collection of music inspired by the body’s organs, supported by the Wellcome Trust – artists meet various scientists and physicians who are the peak of expertise in their chosen field to find inspiration for music.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to meet Sam Lee and Kate Bland from Body of Songs to talk about the process of fragrance creation and history of perfumery. The resulting song has recently made an appearance, and it’s utterly enrapturing and haunting.
“The nose is by far the least understood of all the organs and one of the great of the human science mysteries, This song explores this “archaic nerve” that penetrates our psyche and unconsciousness in magical transportive ways. This original organ has elevated itself to such a lofty position of biological deportment as to become almost unnecessary, yet so rooted in all our judgements socially, sexually, animalistically and atavistically it could be reckoned as the seat of the highest intuition and most advanced of all faculties”
Find out more about the Body of Songs project here.
Back in August, I went along to the Avery Perfume Gallery’s 5th Birthday Celebrations, and wrote about it for Basenotes.
Since then I was fortunate enough to smell all of the exciting new launches under the Intertrade banner at Pitti Fragranze13. Keep your nose peeled for the newly relaunched Andree Putman collection, my personal highlight of the show.
You can read the piece over on Basenotes.net here.