Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Olfactive future Part I

Photo credit: Le Laboratoire
+ Q Perfume Blog never wished to be a simple fragrance reviewer, or just give stars/notes to perfumes. For that we have 1000s of other sites, blog and perfume critics. Here we need to go beyond and explore other many applications for fragrances. Here, we need to go beyond the flacon, we open bottles and minds.
Taste and Smell:
Harvard Professor David Edwards, from Le Laboratoire, teamed up with culinary designer Marc Bretillot, chef Thierry Marx and the FoodLab staff to develop a new project called Le Whaf.
Combining science, cuisine and fragrances, Le Whaf is a futuristic approach to gastronomy.
In a trendy water jug made of glass, with the shape of a globe you can experience an olfactory gustatory experience - 3 juicy recipes developed my chef Thierry Marx, called B52, Tomato Air and Martini Classic poured into the jug to form a cloud. The whaffed particles are so tiny that they will remain in suspension for a while. B52 is a combination of star anise, ginger and citruses. Tomato Air is a tomato soup and Martini classic is an encapsulated Martini with less alcohol. Inhale food, smell food instead of actually eating and swallowing.
This project was developed from the idea of Le Whif - the inhaled chocolate flavor and fragrance. It also reminds me the Harry Parr and Sam Bompa's walk-in Gin and tonic cocktail I mentioned once (click here to check it again).
Sound and Smell:
Christophe Laudamiel teamed up with composers Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurdssom, designer Thierry Mugler and Stewart Matthews to create an opera with sounds and smells, called Green Aria. Presented in the Guggenheim Museum, the chairs were equipped with scent microphones releasing scents. The opera presented 23 scents and told the story of the struggle of nature and industry.
Aerosphere, a company owned by the perfumer and co-founder Stewart Matthew brought the scent technology. The scents created by Laudamiel played a main part in the opera. They told the story!
The idea of mixing music and scents was first explore by perfumer Yuri Gutsatz.
After working for many prestigious French companies, Yuri Gutsatz founded his own brand in 1975 called Le Jardin Retrouvé. Earlier, in 1952 he was invited by Maurice Lehmann, the director of the Opéra de paris at that time, to perfume the opera house for a sequence of Rameau's piece "Les Indes galantes", an opera-ballet of the 18th Century. In the second act, called Ballet des Fleurs they released a fragrance called L"apparition de la Rose, developed by the perfumer. The theater was filled with the perfume of roses while the ballerina appeared on stage wearing a rose costume.
The perfumer looked for inspiration by watching the dancers at the backstage for several months.
Without technologies such as a scent microphone, the perfume was diffuses by the air circulation system from 1936. The perfume had to reach the auditorium at a given moment, so without computers to calculate, the system was trial and error during many performances, till a musical marker was settled to advice when to trigger the system and coordinate the olfactory perception with the visuals.
The perfume created by Yuri is sold till today by the brand in a collection of 3 rose fragrances and it is called Rose Opéra.
Vision and Smell
Also developed by Laudamiel and Thierry Mugler was the project of designing 15 scents coinciding with te key scenes of the movie The Perfume, an adaptation of the novel by Patrick Süskind. The idea was to illustrate scenes in the book by using scents.
The plot, known by most of us, is a macabre serial of murders by a young man called Jean Baptiste Grennouille, performed in France in the 18th century. With an extraordinary sense of smell, the young man who has no smell of his own tries to by create a perfume with the scent of 25 virgins. In order to achieve his goal he kills the virgins to extract the scent of their skin and hairs.
The book amazed me when I read it because it was so full of fragrant details and descriptions that I recall telling people that I could actually smell the words. Till the present day I described it as the best book I ever read, and I gave it as a gift to many friends, even before I started to be involved with perfumes.
It also moved Laudamiel while he was in perfumery school. What started as a personal project by the perfumer's interpretation of the book, developed into a major event when the movie was released. Together with Thierry Mugler they developed the fragrances that were sold as a coffret, and also special movie session with the release of the fragrances were performed.
Words became images, images became scents. Fantastic!
Kyoteau Bottled Memories is a book written by Della Chuang, a designer who is involved with fragrances. I interviewed her recently and you can read the article by clicking here. What is incredible about this book is that it brings her experiences and insights in the beautiful Japanese city. Tradition and modernity was filtered by the author and traduced in a fragrance. Design and fragrances bonded in a way that you can have a full experience. Rituals, culture and the scents of a city, booked and bottled. Despite the fact that she is a remarkable young lady and a friend, this masterpiece must be in the homes of all fragrance lovers! I order mine already!
Photo credit: Nobi
100% Love is a fragrance designed by perfumer Sophia Grosjman, a pulpy erotic, rich, velvety perfume with cacao, rose, incense and green notes created with collaboration of architect and sculptor Nobi Shioya. It was encapsulated by IFF technology called Poliff (you can read about it here in the blog!), and spread to form a pink heart, in an installation of a show called Plastic garden in Nobi's gallery in 2003. It was a center piece to express love.
Photo credit: Iconosm
Artist Laurent Elie Badessi and Laudamiel created a project called Iconosm where for the first time photography and scents were brought together in an exhibition. Images, sounds, colors and scent were united and specifically designed for each installation in an indissociable way, including one installation that was developed as a part of a study with NASA.
Touch and Smell
We all all familiar with the scratch and sniff found in magazines, in perfume advertising and children's book. But do you know how it works? The idea behind scratch and sniff stickers is the use of microencapsulation technology where scents are encapsulated in gelatin or plastic spheres that are incredibly small. When the sticker is scratched, the spheres are ruptured releasing the scent.
Amanda Lepore has launched her dolls with her own fragrance. Read about her dolls and other scented toys by to enter to my blog Trends & Blends clicking here.
The idea here is to be able to have a full experience of a personal object. The doll was produced with "Realskin" material and scented to bring "life" to the toy.
All those projects are really full expressions of art and amazing examples of how we can explore the senses, specially the sense of smell, the most neglected.
But besides connecting the senses, + Q Perfume Blog also likes to explore the use of fragrances in special projects and ideas.
We will continue to explore the subject in the next articles!


M said...

Now THAT is what I call a wonderful post, Simone. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it with us. How inspiring, that stage-and-scent concept.
You're right: It's not all about perfume reviews here, that's for sure! Love your blog even more!

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Thank you so much Michael!
I will continue to explore this subject because there are other ways of exploring fragrances that amaze me so much.
I loooove your blog! Happy 2010!

Dimi3 said...

Truly, great way to combine scent with other senses and wonderful post, thank you, Simone!

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dear Dimitri,
good to see you back here!
Thanks for the compliment

Unknown said...

The reason I love about your perfume blog is that, instead of putting focus on perfume ingredients, you introduce perfumery as art, which is much more engaging and interesting to the public.

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