Monday, January 25, 2010

Olfactive future - Part 02

As you could see in my first article, fragrance can be used in many applications, to many purposes.
I decided to explore this subject a little bit more because I am intrigued with our olfactive future.
Will over exposure diminish our sense of smell? Are we going to have more educated nose? What is the future for fragrances and scents?
Are we exploring them enough or there are many other ways that we haven't thought about it?
So many questions!!!
Meanwhile I am presenting ideas that in my opinion are avant garde, meaning, they are stepping into the future. Most of them are related to art.
Brazil scented Carnival Celebration
Carnival in Brazil, spelled Carnaval, is a feast celebrated 40 days before Easter. It comes from the term to remove meat, and therefore period of time when Christians abstained from eating meat and poultry. It became the biggest public celebration of the world and the most important holiday in Brazil. Millions of tourists arrive in the country every year to dance or to watch the Samba school parades.
In 2008, Rosas de Ouro - a Carnival school from São Paulo - was so interested in the world of fragrances that they decided to pick them to be the subject of their show that year.
Teamed up with fragrance house Symrise, the staff of the school was introduced to the art of fragrances, and were assisted by fragrance house creative team to implement scheme for the show.
The in house perfumer, Magali Lara created and developed a fragrance called " Rain on me" that was sprayed during the school's parade. A fragrance with fresh top notes, magical flowers as middle notes and exotic woods with a hint of honey as base notes.
The samba theme of the school spoke about fragrances and its history:
"The dancing odor, essence of flowers
Perfuming the sacred writings
By heaven, I went in the form of prayer
Seduce the ancient civilizations
Crossed, the sacred
After a long journey
In the old world came
And every noble allure
Perfume of roses in the air
Passion that makes you dream
Its rose essence with a "Q" Magic*
City light of sweethearts
Which leads me
The cure for those convicted of love ....
In my Brazil
I fancy the imperial crown
And today in Carnival
I know that my future is here
In my floor aroma contagious
And the sound of my battery
I will conquer you
Turning to Bahia
Makes me delirious (Ô Iaiá)
I Rosas de Ouro
Eternal aroma
Our show will begin"

* A Brazilian expression to say " a touch" of something - but it is the Q letter related to fragrances - I like it!!! Just like + Q perfume Blog!

Odors, scents and different angles of understanding the sense of smell
From Henry Ford's point of view...
photo credit:
Sissel Toolas is a scent artist or as many call her, "an odor artist". She calls herself a professional provocateur.
As the New York Times mentioned, she is one of the most controversial personalities in the fragrance industry. When she is not creating for Volvo, H&M, Procter & Gamble, Ikea or Margiela, she is collecting scents and odors for her international library, a collection of more than 7,000 scents that she has been harvesting since 1990.
She speaks many languages and has developed one called Nasalo - the language of smells. As a result of her studies of smell and language, smell and communication. She created the alphabet of smell that started from a neutral position. Toolas has been capturing smells and keeping them, labeling with criteria. And since we have more smells than words...the project seems endless to me! She has also collecting the smell of cities such as Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, London, Mexico City and many others.
An interesting work she developed was an art exhibit for MIT arts center in 96, called the fear of smell...the smell of fear. She collected sweat from different donors all over the world and encapsulated them to produce a gloss paint that releases scent when touched. So when visitors came, they could touch it and smell human skin and the scent of bodily odors. It was her way to express how we are scent blinded. Overloaded with fragrances in a way that we are insensible to our own unadulterated body smells, and what they sent signs for.
Researching on body odors and scents is not new, but the concept of having a library of scents, from dirty toys to rotten bananas is in my opinion, fantastic!
Scent branding is also not new. It comes from the eighties as I researched, but you will find out here, about a Brazilian lady, that started it in the 70's, way before everyone thought of it! But the way Toolas research to create scented logos is different. The approach is very uncommon.
But questioning this obsession for cleanness that we have, questioning if there is only good and bad in the world of scent is genius. I loved Toolas from the first time I read about her.
She tested one a scent on her skin in a diplomatic dinner with Brazilian Ambassadors called guy No.3 (with the smell of BO). Dressed like a princess, she smelled like BO! That is one field research that is so shocking & hilarious at the same time!
She has also teamed up with photographer Nick Knight ( in a project called Violence, to launch a fragrance of the world's first fragrance on line (as described by the site). The project is disturbing, but somehow interesting. He wants to capture the scent of his violent days as a skinhead (he was in the past). Although Visionaire has a project like that, and I mentioned here before (they launched an edition also with a fragrance with the scent of violence); what he wished to do is something different. You can read all about it in the site and in his blog - the development of the fragrance and all the inside details of the process, even the conversations between photographer and Toolas. I enjoyed it very much, although skinhead movements is not something that I would EVER support or even consider to relate to, but I must bring fragrances in various applications. Still, it seemed to me very interesting.
She has sparkling ideas, such as giving a lecture to Harvard Graduate School of design about Ecological Urbanism, presenting scents. Before she started to lecture, she passed by a paper blotter with the smell that she described as "the smell of Communism".
Scents, visuals and experiences
Visionaire 42
photo credit: Visionaire
Visionaire 42 is one of the many editions of extremely creative fashion and art albums, that are published 3 times a year. Each edition is about a different theme. Number 42 was about scent. Teamed up with fragrance house IFF, Visionaire brought together 21 original scents such as softness, hunger, fear, electricity, mother etc... each one presented in a vial with a visual card.
You can go on line in their web site to experience some of the fragrances by clicking here.
photo credit: Jason Logan and The NY Times
Mapping a city by its smells
Jason Logan made an interesting map of the city of New York in Summer: a scent map where he described his journey through neighborhoods such as Soho, Little Italy, Harlem, etc... according to one thing - his nose. Delightful to read, interesting to copy. I might do that here too!!
He also listed the common and recurrent summer smells. To read the full article in the New York Times, click here.
Stockings & Scent art
Brazilian artist Ernest Neto opened in The Park Avenue Armory the first commissioned art installation called Anthropodino, in Wade Thompson Drill, in June 2009. The installation was made basically by large lycra tulles, sewed onto a system of skeletal wooden frames. Hanging from the wall, cloves, cumin, ginger and many other spices with scents. It looked like a spider's web with eggs in bags. As told by The New York Times:
"Two days earlier bags and boxes of ground spices — cumin, black pepper, ginger, cloves and turmeric, 1,650 pounds’ worth — had arrived, to be sifted into the bottoms of these socks so that when they were suspended, the weight would stretch them, and the spices would stain the tulle, giving it a kind of corporeal mottle. Within a few hours after the spice operation got under way, the entire drill hall began to smell like a hot curry."
photo credit:
Visitors could walk around inside the installation, touch the bags and smell the aroma of the spices. To look, touch and smell was one full experience!
Fashion, scent and technology
Smart Second Skin - Scentory Design by Jenny Tillotson explores the relationship between emotional clothing, aromas, colors and health, bridging the disciplines of nanotechnology, perfumery, fashion and textiles to create what they call "a personal scent bubble" that enhances the visual message of fashion with medical, sensory and psychological wellbeing of the wearer. Developed to alleviate mental and physical health problems, the delivery of odorant chemicals is controlled according to personal needs. As I understood, if you have a cold for example, the fabric of your dress will release menthol to make you feel better. If you are stressed, it will release, let's say vanilla, lavender...
They also mentioned in the site many applications such as scented linens for child care, or a scent releaser in the clothes, for you to have your own personal scent-visual experience in the movies. All the ideas are very well explained in the site! You should take sometime to read, it is very sci-fi!! Click here for the site.
I will continue to bring ideas here for you. If you know any that I haven't mentioned, please kindly send it to me. It is crucial to my work!

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