Fifteen perfume and art combinations were dotted around Milan’s Pitti Fragranze venue courtesy of Chandler Burr and his exhibition entitled ‘Art, Objects, Shape, Color and Scent’, back in September. Burr is one of the most well-known perfume writers and his book The Perfect Scent is a great read. It details behind the scenes machinations regarding the development of two very different perfumes – Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely and Hermes‘ Jardin Sur Le Nil by the water colour scent master Jean-Claude Ellena. Burr has also written the coffee table book Dior : The Perfumes.
The exhibits were arranged in such a way that they felt like a different kind of treasure amongst the perfume overload. Sometimes I would spot a pairing and wonder why I hadn’t come across it earlier but I enjoyed seeing and smelling the choices Burr made. The perfumes were available to smell via a mouilette dipped into the plain, glass bottles.
I know Burr’s fascination with perfume and its context within the art realm can be polarising and read this thread on Now Smell This if you want to peruse some thoughts on the matter. Burr himself even weighs in on the issue in the conversation that ensues.
The photograph Strandkanten, Norvegia by Ivan Brodey was teamed with the divine Anima Dulcis from Arquiste and classified as Expressionism. Yann Vasnier and Rodrigo Flores-Roux are the noses on this perfume.
Post-Romanticism is represented by A Long Abandoned Dream by Jeremy Mann and Paestum Rose from Eau d’Italie. Nose Bertrand Duchaufour.
“The quixotic nature of Post-Romanticism is that sadness is its own kind of beauty, and Mann’s subject is perhaps even more sexually inviting now. The brilliant scent artist Bertrand Duchaufour has created in “Paestum Rose” a masterpiece in the style, a rose whose beauty is dark. The sunlight and the freshness of its first bloom are gone, and in the deepening shadows it has only grown more beautiful.”
Hyper Realism was featured with the art work frankforteart #porn #pornset #girl #galleryhopping #LACMA by Frank Fort and the perfume Pulp from Byredo. The perfumer is Jerome Epinette.
“The brilliant scent artist Jerome Epinette has used shock here in a peculiar and wonderful way – shocked pleasure. … Frank Fort presents two porn actresses with orange skin and bleached blond hair that glows. Hyper-Realism is a style that shocks almost axiomatically, and both Fort’s and Epinette’s enhanced-reality works are like radiation … “
Burr classified Rubj EDP (surely one of the best florals in perfume land) from Vero Profumo in the Romanticism category and paired it with The Carpet Merchant by Jean Leon Gerome.
“Kern and Gerome seek to overwhelm, to fill up the senses. Genome’s colours saturate the eye, and Kern’s the nose. The richness is transporting, and the two works transcend the real worlds of sight and sound.”
Post – Modernism is captured by Philip Johnson with Sony Tower and Rouge Assassin from Jovoy by Amelie Bourgeois.
“It is heavy as a 1940’s perfume, and it is as linear as a 2010s scent. It gives the Post-Modernist finger to rules of How Perfumes Should Be, and you smell it on its own terms.”
Abstract Expressionism was the theme for the match up of Mark Rothko‘s No. 3 /No.13 (Magenta, Black, Green on Orange) and Etat Libre d’Orange‘s Like This by Mathilde Bijaouai. Tilda Swinton was the creative director and was inspired by childhood smells such as ginger cooling on a wooden table.
“Bijaouai used a blend of the ideas to create a work of olfactory abstract expressionism. Mark Rothko had similarly united specific colors in non-representational forms to create a work of abstract expressionism in the medium of paint.”
Digital Art is the theme here. The artwork is Eminem by Ben Heine and the perfume is from Nomenclature entitled adr_ett from Karl Bradl and Carlos Quintana. The perfumer is Frank Voelkl.
“In scent of course the advent of digital art has, mostly due to marketing aimed at the lowest IQs created the same controversy / hysteria. Brady and Quintana’s new collection is a commentary on this in the form of works of scent art themselves; indeed Nomenclature’s frames (its bottles) and design are overtly chemistry-orientated.”
Minimalism and the work of Olivia Giacobetti with L’Artisan Parfumer‘s Dzing! and Equivalent VIII by Carl Andre are represented here.
“”Dzing!” takes a deep, rich scent concept and lays it in front of us, utterly free of decoration or design or adornment. In the pure beauty of the experience of the concept, Giacobetti focuses us on a pure idea that floats invisible yet as palpable as any stone.”
And that’s a wrap!
Notes : All images by Megan In Sainte Maxime
Here are a few of the combinations and commentaries in the exhibition.