Scent culture originates from religious life. Thus, references to religious practices, feasts & thoughts are a recurring theme in our posts. Today, 15 August, Christians celebrate the Assumption of Mary. It is a day abounding in histories of scent practices.
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis
totum utte faciant, Fabulle, nasum – CATULLUS
Perfumery is not just a matter of mixing aromatics in a vessel, but it is effectively a network, where texts meet practice, trade, geography, politics, and religion in a literal and material manner.” — James McHugh
“The bottle of perfume, which Marthe […] nonchalantly holds in her right hand, is the all-important barrier and go-between, positioned at that point of confrontation where body and light touch as they dramatically push and pull against each other. The bottle is filled with a liquid as yellow as the wallpaper and as golden as the glowing radiance advancing from behind the window curtains. The perfume in its vessel is yet another form of light within the painting.” – RICHARD STAMELMAN
Painting is born in a smelly studio. – JIM ELKINS
Different types of books contribute to the field of scent culture: coffee table books, scholarly books, perfume guides and many more. This book is different. It is original in its approach, writing and design: Nose Dive by Catherine Haley Epstein.
“What if we designed for all our senses? Suppose, for a moment, that sound, touch, and odor were treated as the equals of sight, and that emotion was as important as cognition. What would our built environment be like if sensory response, sentiment, and memory were critical design factors, more vital even than structure and program?” – JOY MONICE MALNAR & FRANK VODVARKA
Smell is a quality not to be separated from matter. – IVAN VAN BLOCH
Women play the central role as eyewitness at Jesus’ death, entombment as well as in the discovery of the empty tomb.
“I switch perfumes all the time. If I’ve been wearing one perfume for three months, I force myself to give it up, even if I still feel like wearing it, so whenever I smell it again it will always remind me of those three months. I never go back to wearing it again; it becomes part of my permanent smell collection…Odors are at once evocative and suggestive, redolent with significance.”
– ANDY WARHOL
“You smell that? What is that?…” – “Your cologne?”- “No” – “Opportunity” – “No. Money”
“We live in a world of smells, where only the absence of smell is remarkable.” – R.W. MONCRIEFF
Panic is almost the characteristic smell of the city streets in New York. – paraphrasing – JEAN BAUDRILLARD
“Every human nose instantly smells the subtle scent of independence, the habit of command, the habit of always choosing the best of everything for oneself, the whiff of misanthropy, and the unwavering sense of responsibility that goes with power, that rises up, in short, from a large and secure income. Everyone can see at a glance that such a person is nourished and daily renewed by quintessential cosmic forces. Money circulates visibly just under his skin like the sap in a blossom. Here there is no such thing as conferred traits, acquired habits; nothing indirect or secondhand! Destroy his bank account and his credit, and the rich man has not merely lost his money but has become, on the very day he realizes what has happened, a withered flower. With the same immediacy with which his riches were once seen as one of his personal qualities, the indescribable quality of his nothingness is now perceived, smelling like a smoldering cloud of uncertainty, irresponsibility, incapacity, and poverty. Riches are simply a personal, primary quality that cannot be analyzed without being destroyed.” – ROBERT MUSIL