Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Grasse, Epilogue - perfume and art

I'm back in Holland. I'll write now about the perfume and the olfaction in general, out of what I was thinking through these 2 weeks.


If you want to reseach about the scent,
just smelling is not enough.

You have to focus the timing and volume of your breathing.
There needs concentration, and you have to know how to focus.
You have to 'see' the changes as time passes by.
And you have to express and describe.

If I compare it to the digital camera,
the resolution got higher than before.
And I can now focus far away too, as if you wear the tele-lens.

To learn about the knowledge is enough from reading the books,
but to learn about the behavior, that's not enough.

Connect to your memory.
Express. Describe.
Reconstruct it based on your analysis.

Ms. Laurence was teaching us such a behaviors by communicating.

[perfume - art - music]

It's interesting to think about the perfume from the perspective of wine.
The wine macerates. Perfume, too.
The taste depends on the year because it's a natural product with a natural process.
The term used in winery like 'spicy' and 'floral' is quite common in the perfumery.
I think it's not coincident that France became the mecca of the perfumery.

In Provence, they use the term 'green' and even 'tomato' for expressing the taste of olive oils.
Such a sensitivity has became also a factor for the Provence to achieve the fame for their natural extracts.

If you look at the perfume from the painting perspective,
choosing the colours, or making a palette, is like choosing the oils for making a perfume.
Mixing the colours is like creating a cord.
The same palette could deliver totally different paintings.
So is the perfumery.

However no other metaphor could be better than the music for the perfumery, because they are both time-based.
The combination of C, E and G creates major C cord. You can understand it as creating a cord in the perfumery.
You can repeat it and spread it over the piece.
There's top notes and base notes... these terms are also used the same way in the perfumery.

The perfumery complicates and rounds the each scents.
Why is it necessary?

For example, you make a piece of music only with the note C.
Let's say, the note does not change for 15 minutes.
Does anyone find it interesting? No.
You have to use the sense of play by changing the note, tone, volume or rhythm.
This sense of play makes it music. So is the perfumery.

[my future]

How to make use of the experience of the summer course, I don't know yet.
But I got more motivated and more ideas!
So I have to spend time on experimenting (which is always difficult)

What I want to work on now is to extract the human odor and make a perfume of it.
I would have to use myself for experimentation though.

The idea is not my original one.
The East Germany STASI secret police has been extracting and preserving the human odor for a military purpose. Recently Germany revived this method for preventing the possible terrorist attack during G8.
In the fiction novel Perfume, Grenouille has extracted the scents from 24 virgins.
A couple of my artist friends are also working on this idea.
From what I have learned in Grasse I could possibly make a good quality extract and I want to try that.

The best part of having participated in the summer course is that I found the real people who are professional. I want to stay in touch with the school.

I really appreciate this deep world of olfaction.

(Photos are from my Brasillian classmate Flavia)

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