Scents and Sounds Nº1: The Great Work Begins

Yesterday as I was tapping away at my computer putting the finishing touches to my review of Jour d’Hermès i was touched by a serendipitous union of sound and scent. In a stroke of genuine genius for once (not the pretentious ‘Hey we’re apple we’re so clever’ kind that we’re so used to) my iTunes delivered a perfect audio compliment to the scent I was writing about.

The piece that popped up on shuffle to match Jour was one of my all time favourites (not to be morbid but I want it at my funeral, it’s that good); The Great Work Begins by Thomas Newman from the HBO adaptation of Angels in America. It manages to perfectly capture the mood of Jour d’Hermès, specifically the promise of the dawn, of the new day and a new start after the darkness.

Angels in America

Angels in America

This got me thinking about the relationship between music and perfume. Both use notes to create compositions that spur emotions, atmosphere and as humans we can escape neither. So it makes perfect sense that one can compliment the other and I wonder whether our differing perceptions of scent can translate to how we view the correlation between perfume and music.

So, as a little experiment (if this proves fruitful I may turn this in to a series of posts), listen to the YouTube clip of The Great Work Begins above and tell me what fragrance you feel matches it; how are the music and scent linked? Is it just the feel of both pieces, or something more specific? Why do they compliment each other so well?

Let me know your thoughts!

Image 1 via


9 thoughts on “Scents and Sounds Nº1: The Great Work Begins

  1. I can’t listen to the track (at work now and can’t download Flash at home – boo!) but it sounds like an interesting experiment. I think music and perfume can definitely correspond in terms of mood but anything more specific than that, I’m not sure.

  2. Yes, this music is definitely floral! I haven’t smelled JdH yet but I sprayed some Dior J’Adore Absolu on my hand earlier today and that one would fit, or maybe Idylle. Some sort of radiant floral, but not sweet.
    I like to match perfume with music, but then I match everything to music :-). For example Amouage Epic and a song by the divine Lebanese singer Fairuz or Bandit and “That man” by Caro Emerald…

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