Visual representations of smell are one of the core themes of our presence on Instagram: Wheel, circle, and pie have recently appeared as recurring and influential visual metaphors. The fragrance wheel created by Michael Edwards is perhaps the most prominent example these days. But the history of visualizations demonstrates that this is only one example out of many. The visual metaphor of the circle or the wheel has been used to classify urine smells. The colour, smell, and even taste of urine was used to both identify particular illnesses and provide patient prognoses, from Hippocrates to the Victorian era. The practice, called uroscopy or uromancy, was, according to the Doctor’s Review, “once the number-one way to diagnose disease — and predict the future”.
“We live in an age of ephemerality: The point for me is to expect everything else to become like perfume” – BRIAN ENO
Michael Müller, best known as a sculptor, shows in his recent exhibition at the Berlin based gallery Thomas Schulte a series of small sculptures taking the form of perfumes, soaps etc. The perfume contains a drop of the artist’s sweat as Michael Müller remarks in an interview:
Do you remember the commercials that promote deodorants and openly appeal to sexist phantasies? Women are drawn in hordes to any male who has sprayed himself liberally with the deodorant – the “Axe effect”. The commercials have been known as the world’s sexist advertising campaign for many years.
Upcoming Fragranze offers a full view of the world of scents: the most exclusive essences with their finest artisan quality, the latest in beauty and wellness products, as well as cosmetics and sophisticated accessories made by more than 270 of the world’s best names in the industry.
Ibrahim’s perfume stall in a Jordanian camp hosting Syrian refugees represents more than a business. It is also a small step towards building a community rooted in hope. We would like to learn more about Ibrahim’s endeavour. Please let him know!
Abercombie & Fitsch has been nominated the most hated retailer. This post explores how this might be related to the company’s scent strategy.
The Illuminum perfume gallery in London has unveiled a new installation by the architect Antonino Cardillo, which suggests a whole new way that fragrance is communicated to an inquisitive public.
This artistic project by Catherine Young brings links the scent culture and the fragrance industry to the political agenda: climate change.
Iconic fashion photographer Nick Knight has created a conceptual film for the Comme des Garçons’ 2015 fragrance Floriental, released to SHOWstudio, his video website, this week.
A new form of celebrity fragrances is emerging!
So, are you making a list and checking it twice? ‘This is the season of lists, after all: wish lists, end-of-year/best-of lists, etc. Perfumes lists are aplenty this time of year (nearly as common as perfume ads) but here at SCI we’re especially fond of perfume books.
Larry Shiner, a philosopher in the field of aesthetics, published a must-read academic treatise on piece by Larry Shiner on the confusing but ever-relevant subject of perfumes & art (Shiner 2015).