Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yet more scent-inspired art

Bourbon French Plumeria, (c) Joshua Buckman, 2009

I like the sensuality of Joshua's drawing: the expanse of skin rising out of the bedclothes, the mop of hair, etc. Bourbon French's Plumeria is an old-fashioned soliflore, sweeter and "cleaner" than the natural scent of the flower, but still quite heady. It's not softened or tarted up in any way. It screams tropical romance to me, but Joshua is clearly working off some very different association. I'm hoping he'll drop in at the blog and tell us about it.

Café Café
, (c) Erin Johnson, 2009

Café-Café is one of those obscure little commercial perfumes that seems to be kept alive by a tiny cult of devotees. Launched in 1996, I believe it's still in production (and dirt cheap.) Don't confuse it with the older, utterly different Café, also by Cofinluxe. Café-Café is a very sharp herbal/citrus melange, with a surprisingly rich patchouli base--a noisy 2nd cousin of Cacharel's Eden. I haven't seen all the drawings the class did, but of those I've seen, Erin's is the purest graphic representation of the scent itself.


Alyssa said...

A couple of thoughts:

First, the back in that first painting does seem tropical to me, by way of Gaugin.

Second, it's interesting to me that all the scents you've listed so far are quite obscure. In a way it makes the experiment more pure--the artists have nothing to go on but their immediate reaction to the perfume. But when I think about how long it's taken me to develop a real relationship with some of my ladies, I find myself wondering what the artists might have produced with a perfume that they had already smelled or grown up with--Opium, Poison, J'Adore or something along those lines (but of the proper generation--but maybe the newer generations don't have those identifiable scents? A whole different topic!)

BitterGrace said...

I thought of Gaugin, too, but I wasn't sure if that was something Joshua had in mind. I do hope he'll chime in and tell us.

I deliberately stuck to perfumes that I was pretty sure the students wouldn't know, but some of them did get more popular niche scents--remember I mentioned that one thought Ambre Narguile smelled like flea soap?

Using scents they already knew would, I think, be a completely different but equally interesting exercise. If I do this again I may try that. Another possibility would be to give everybody the same perfume and see what they did with it.