The first thing one sees when entering Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent, the brand new and very exciting exhibition held at Somerset House, London, is a list of words that describe a variety of odours. These disembodied smells represent the ethos of the exhibition, which is to remove perfume from the commercial setting and allow it to be experienced as something more immersive than one would find on the department store shelves, despite the fact that the scents themselves can be found in such a place. This is perfume as an experience, rather than a consumable product. It shows that it can be something more than just a pretty smell to make a person smell good.
Have you ever wanted to raid the archives at La Maison Guerlain in Paris? I know I certainly have and if you have too, then The Perfume Society have arranged the perfect trip for you. On Saturday 25 February 2017 they will be hosting a group of Guerlain-addicts at the brand’s Champs-Élysées HQ to sniff a number of scents recreated masterfully from the Guerlain archives. The event is described as follows:
La Maison Guerlain is inviting you via The Perfume Society for a very special two-and-a-half hour session at which you’ll be able to smell treasures including the original Après L’Ondée, Guerlain’s own Chypre de Paris, Coque d’Or, Pourquoi J’Aimais Rosine?, Rue de La Paix, and other lost legends: fragrances which had literally vanished, until Thierry and his colleague Frédéric Sacone brought them back to life, following the original formulas in the historic ‘recipe’ books. They can only be smelled at these very exclusive, private workshops, which take place in the beautifully appointed private drawing room. So we’re delighted to be able to share this incredible behind-the-scenes experience over tea with our subscribers.
Get your bullshit detectors and brilliance radars at the ready we are going to uncover the truth and lies embedded in the concepts of fragrance, performance and everyday life! The Candy Perfume Boy returns to the loft as part of the Instability-in-Stability project where he and Cara will decipher just what performance and perfume can evoke in us, questioning how influenced our opinions of the these illustrious industries are by what we read in press releases, project blurbs and reviews.
A massive thank you to everyone who viewed the special fragrant event for the Instability-in-Stability Loft Project. We had a great discussion about scent memory and it was excellent to have such a fantastic interaction from our viewers.
Above is Part 1 (of 6) of the event for those of you who missed it or for those who would like to watch it again. If you have any comments or thoughts about the event or about scent memory then please leave a comment in the box below the jump.
Apologies for taking so long to get the videos on here but I’ve had some problems with LiveStream and embedding.
In a dark dark loft there was a dark dark box and in the dark dark box there is a world of memories and secrets waiting for you to unravel…
My good friend and Performance Artist & Digital Archivist, Cara Davies is currently running a practice-led research project exploring how strategies for archive construction can be activated as a live artwork and digitally mediated performance.
Five days a week for 12 weeks Cara will be dedicating her time to building an archive of her stored belongings. She will identify, organise and catalogue her life.
Next Friday, The Candy Perfume Boy and the Instability-In-Stability project will be teaming up to discuss scent/olfactory memory and the smells and fragrances of their teenage years.
I hope that you can join us between 19:00 and 20:00 GMT on Friday 12 August 2011 for this event, which will be broadcast live on LiveStream. If you have any suggestions or thoughts about our discussion please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments box below.
You can catch Cara in the loft all of this week live on LiveStream.