Remember my post earlier this year about my encounter with some art students at a local university? (If your memory needs jogging, click here.) I gave each student a couple of scent samples to use as inspiration for a drawing project. The instructor, Billy Renkl, has sent me JPEGs of a few of the pieces they created. A couple of them are reproduced below, with the artist's permission. I'll put up more if/when we can track down the other students to get their okay.
Le Parfum d'Ida, (c) Sarah Andrews, 2009.
Yep, that's right, this earthy image was inspired by Neil Morris' tribute to the sweetly outrageous Ida, aka Chayaruchama. If you haven't been lucky enough to sample Le Parfum d'Ida, you'll get an idea of its character from the list of notes on the NMF site. It's rich, complicated, sexy, and warm. This was my review when it was introduced:
Le Parfum d'Ida--yes, named for Ms. Chaya--is a truly classic floral/leather/aldehyde. Ida says it's "skanky," and so it is, but in the most genteel sense. (Note to normal people: Perfumistas smile on skanky, within limits. Don't try to figure it out.) This baby is a real throwback to the great scents of the pre-WWII era. Think of the vivid richness of the classic Lanvins combined with the earthy sensuality of Tabu. But there's a bit of post-war wit and sparkle, too. Imagine the love child of Scandal and Miss Dior, and you'll have a notion of Le Parfum d'Ida.
Initially, I couldn't see much connection between Sarah's drawing and Neil's glamorous creation, but then I realized that the image references the perfume's base notes. Oakmoss, vetiver, myrrh, and black agar give Parfum d'Ida's drydown a dark, primitive character, perfectly in keeping with the organic quality of Sarah's work. It's interesting to me that the quiet base notes, which almost never get any attention in the promotion of conventional perfumes, seem to be what got the artist's attention here.
Oil of Almadina Musk, (c) James Linkous, 2009.
The Almadina musk James worked with is from The Fragrance Shop. It's an unconventional variety of musk--bitter, herbal, slightly leathery. The animalic quality of this musk is pungent, not sweet or creamy like most popular musks. I wear it occasionally, but it's very masculine, heavy and linear. I suspect if you asked me to "picture" this musk, you'd hear about images of vegetation, or maybe a rough, green cloth. James' drawing evokes the latter for me, though I doubt he had anything so concrete in mind.
Thanks to James and Sarah for letting their work adorn BitterGrace Notes.