Wednesday, 30 November 2011

SSENSE

Hello and welcome to my new perfume project. SSense is a unique perfume training company that aims to change people’s attitudes towards fragrance, through their senses. Visit my website and get in touch so that 
I can deliver a perfume experience for you!








HUB SCENTED MEDITATION #2




On Monday I guided another scented meditation at The Hub, which went really well. Thanks to all who came, their feedback and comments. There was more to learn for me, I enjoyed this experience very much too. Not only is this an opportunity to unwind and explore the healing aspects of meditation and scents but it is also a nice networking event, I have found. Stay tuned for more, or if you want me to guide a unique scented meditation for you, just get in touch.







Tuesday, 15 November 2011

ANOTHER DAY ON EARTH



Kick start,
today I took a walk to the park.
Got incredibly inspired by the karma of life around me.
Wafts from unspecified shrubs near me surprised my steps and enlightened my intentions.

Smell is (still) not part of the virtual.
Words or the other senses are needed to talk about it.
With scents (thank God), direct experience is still king.

Have a nice day!


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

DROP THE GENDER, FIND YOUR OWN STORY





I had the great pleasure to contribute to the Nov issue of the new online Perfume Magazine. The theme was men's fragrance. Read here.



Monday, 26 September 2011

LETTER TO AN ARTIST




Dearest Mark,

I am writing to you today to tell you that I feel your art, and to thank you.

One of my shrines, as my uber friend Karolina has kindly mentioned, is your room at Tate. From time to time, I spend qualitative meditative time there and I was deeply saddened when you were taken away for some time (I was told that you were on loan, travelling).

Your art rescued me today.

I can feel what you're saying or at least I can feel it my way. A message comes through to me.

Frame of nothingness / of everything 

Announcing frame: something is happening

interaction - depth. I want to enter, to go beyond this door. Want to explore, to travel through this infinite. 

Very dramatic, very safe. 

Scary, a warning.

Therapeutical effect: a safe grip from my own very dramatic emotions

Density of human emotions - blood.

Reassuring frame. On screen, I'm seeing the world from the wombs.

Thank God you're back!

I am only afterwards to learn more about the intentions behind this work of art

"They're meant to be objects of contemplation, solitaire meditations, demanding the viewer's complete absorption, on which he feels totally enveloped" 

And only tonight to learn more about your story and that the world has created another place for us to pray and gather around your art.

The nearest art form to me is the art of expressing through scent. Just like yours it's an art that can transmit something and take you back to the essence. I'm reading Journal d'un Parfumeur which is teaching me more about how much this is an expressive job (you should really read this book - it's in French so you'll have to learn the language first, which you should do as it's a wonderful language to express things).



You brought me back to my zero point. Thank you.

May I learn from your art how to stay tuned to my essence and speak to the human soul.

SP

8.7m SMELLS

The Guardian is saying that life comes in 8.7m varieties: I am wondering in how many varieties life can smell!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

THE SMELL OF THIS NON-PLACE



With this post you can play a guess-game and guess what the fragrance is before clicking on the link. 

I m in Charles de Gaulles airport and my flight is 2 hours late, which means that I ll be spending 3 hours in a non-place. Marc Augè, one of the most prominent anthropologists of our times, uses the word “non-place” to describe transit places, like airports for instance, where people just come and go and no one lives, places that have a rather hybrid identity.
What is the smell of a non-place then? Non-smell?! Maybe body smells, smells of the air conditioning system, carpet and other materials, combined with a few contained food odours. Until you reach the duty free, of course. Here the overpowering smell of hundreds of fragrances gives the usual goodbye/welcome scent to your trip, like if this non-place suddenly turned into an everywhere-place, considering the amount of scenarios all these bottles can evoke. 
To kill time I'll go on a 30-min trip then. The window welcomes me with a new long-awaited launch that I haven't tried yet. I am taken on top of 24 FABOURG SAINT-HONORè PARIS. I must say I am a bit disappointed with having to tour only to a Paris terrace garden (and to no other exotic destination) but it’s worth it. The fruity, vegetal, floral smell is wonderfully crafted, as all the other 3 JARDINS.
I go down the woman fragrance aisle...I walk barefoot on wet freshly cut grass, in the morning, sparkling with dew... wonderful, hadn’t smelled it for long. Used to be one of my favourites, but this soft-soapy dry-down (lily of the valley-cyclamen) I note now doesn’t make me crazy anymore, it's funny how our preferences change... I am then on the grass again, this time by a river, having lunch; diving into some tangy fruits and listening to the birds.

Going then through a classic that has always had me sniffing addictively its ‘30s fur-esque glamour, I sniff for the first time a new version made from it, exclusively for the French market, which to me is so much the smell of nudity, of a powdery, dry and gorgeous (maybe somehow earthy) female skin. Yes, if I am to pick a few favourite fragrance houses this is definitely one of them!
As I am about to fly, an experience that I don’t enjoy, I’m happy to dive my spirit in a feminine sensual floral blend of lavender combined with bergamote, that calms me down remarkably. It’s a part of a floral collection that includes some citrus notes (one of the several collection-lines launched recently).
As I move to the men section my level of excitement is drastically reduced. My sense of smell notes the usual shift in the raw materials used and smells then the typical woody notes straightaway. My sense of sight notes the flatness of colours and shapes for the packaging. Everything is mainly brown / dark-green, blue, black, grey-transparent-white. I’m overwhelmed with seductors that look quite desperate and sporty men. 

As I leave this smelling every-where place (Duty Free), I realise I am still in the non-place (airport) and that beside all the perfume stories of the Duty Free, none of them talks about the non-place. I'm then keen on working the anthropological equation non-place = non-smell. Or maybe that the smell of a non-place is "the smell of transiting experiences". What do you think? Final call to my London flight - this seductor is still with me though! 

Monday, 18 April 2011

AND GOD GAVE US TASTE

A must-read for the sensory hearts

So I must have been blessed. God s been sending me the bestest perfume passionates lately. Gotta share this. Yesterday's workshop was another exclusive, avant-garde encounter between people who want to learn, to study, to feel, to know what perfume is, and a selection of perfume ingredients and compositions. Oh, and to come to appreciate them, this time they used food - a palette of tastes I had devotedly looked for and selected in the gourmand paradise also known as Whole Foods. 

It was lots of fun - their enthusiasm was infectious. I had the pleasure of having for the second time a choreographer -now fashion designer- whose savvy nose could easily pick the dark chocolate reflections of patchouli and chatted with him for more than an hour about anything in between food markets and Japanese attitudes. His amazing girlfriend, a radiant French stylist, quite as nose-driven, easily picked the synthetic that drove Kawakubo mad (and is in fact a CDG's fragrances honour member) and will soon write about the experience.



Just to reassure that everyone can be a perfumer and not only artists come to my workshops (the world of smell and its ingredients is with us unintentionally every day, perfume culture is for everyone), I had the most incredible pleasure to have an anesthesist, who came down from Leicester just for the workshop, and was the best vanilla taste / scent sensor - and lover. Let doctors say it with scent!

Last but not least, I was completely overwhelmed by Imran's questions - about my perfume taste, recommendations, and he had wonderful suggestions... even the company's founder agrees that he knows everything about what smells good in perfume. Perfume must be his drug as, as a banker he sometimes works 18 hours/day!!

Two more attendees were supposed to come from the Netherlands, but we haven't seen them... I hope they're alive!

I have been very lucky and I must thank God for inventing the senses of taste and smell and making us experiment to learn more about this world, which takes us on the way to pleasure. And then of course thank to students for coming and for trusting me when, blindfolded, they tasted in the name of scent. And LE LABO for being the best perfume shop in the world.

Monday, 11 April 2011

CALONE (And then perfumers could take you to the see)




In perfumery, the discovery of a new molecule allows the creation of new perfumed landscapes. It is since the 80s that it’s been possible to “depict” a seashore, to create a marine-fresh feeling with scent. Something that became then a trend in the 90s (EAU D'ISSEY - COOL WATER - ESCAPE, just to give you a smelling reference). This happened thanks to the introduction of a molecule called CALONE in perfumery, which is still a very popular synthetic perfume ingredient. Read more in this article by perfume scientist Luca Turin.

Today I am smelling CALONE as it will be one of the ingredients that my students will study on Sunday at the next perfume workshop, where they will learn about perfume using their sense of taste.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

WATERCOLOUR

The way I was introduced to perfumery and the way I now introduce my Students to it is through a visual art media: watercolour. This is what I call "step 0" of the sensory perception of perfume, the one that explores the connections between scents and the sense of sight. It is also a media which I came across when performing research on botanical art for a perfume house: it's an artform that has become dear to me.

Watercolour is considered very delicate and precise, capable of producing "an astonishing variety of effects, from subtle atmospheric washes to brilliant tanslucent colour." It has first been used to record information about the world around us, hence we can find miniature paintings, animal and plant books, manuscripts and maps made using it. A perfect companion in the travelling and mapping of the world, also given its compact and easy-to-carry nature, it's been a knowledge tool.

Lara Melis Iris xiphium

Though landscape has always been the favourite watercolour scenery, this technique has later gained its status as a work of art and used in a different range of paintings, up to abstract. "It's long been regarded as a distinctive part of British cultural heritage", the leading British watercolour artist being Turner.



Today I had the fantastic pleasure of seeing WATERCOLOUR, the exhibition which is now on at Tate Britain here in London (see also TATE blog). Highly recommended to all the perfumistas out there who can see an artwork when they smell. And for them to discover the connections with perfume!

In this painting (Cozens) you can see the movement of the tree

Thursday, 31 March 2011

LAST SUNDAY'S SOUND WORKSHOP



Last Sunday I had another true blessing with an enthusiastic bunch of perfumistas coming to engage their senses in a synesthetic exploration of scent. It was truly a lot of fun! 

They were mainly writers ( copy / freelance / editors), a science teacher and a lady working for a ballet company. As the third appointment with LE LABO SYNESTHETIC SERIES, they worked with perfume notes and different types of sounds to explore how perfume is an art form and a creative language.

Next appointment will be Scent / Taste, which I am designing today...


 About: LE LABO SYNESTHETIC SERIES is a series of workshops being held at Le Labo perfume boutique in London, where students use sensory perception to learn about perfume. Thanks to all the students that have come so far and their passion!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

LAST SUNDAY'S WORKSHOP

I am getting happier and happier at hosting LE LABO SYNESTHETIC SERIES perfume workshops.


Last Sunday I had a truly amazing group of students who came from very different walks of life but were all very genuinely inspired by smell culture. I am gonna tell you a little bit who they are (hoping they won't mind!). Artur at home has a smell library of 40 among the finest basic raw materials used in the perfume industry that he's slowly memorising, and was asking me about how to take his perfume education further. Louise coming from Central Saint Martin's and now designing her own woman fashion label  and her friend Hollie, a shoe designer who was very engaged exploring the concept of "innocent summer youth" in perfume. Maddalena from a Museum experience who wrote a dissertation on "Esthetics of perfume" and wrote a beautiful post about the workshop on her blog. Then we had Jenny, a philosophy phD student who has written a compelling piece on the philosophical interpretation of scent through the centuries and finally Lindsey who is the Art and Travel editor of an online trend magazine. They all were really enthusiastic and worked together on exploring the connection between a family of odours, some perfume compositions, colors and images. They accessed their baggage of memories, emotions, sensations and created some very interesting synesthetic scenarios. A big thank you to them whose entusiasm and passion came back to me.



This is the first time an interactive perfume course for the public is offered, I put so much effort and passion in giving people the chance to learn about this discipline, to make them discover how much perfume is a creative language, an art form. And how much every one, as it happens with music, painting or other art forms, can find their truly unique own story in it. Our workshops are sold out: the enthusiasm and Sunday's feedback are telling me that this project has to be taken further. I am officially on the prowl.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Scent For Rent: Sunday afternoon @ Le Labo London

Comment on Sunday's workshop. Both English and Italian.

Scent For Rent: Sunday afternoon @ Le Labo London: "ITA La scorsa settimana è stata piuttosto dura e difficile per me - meno male che ieri ho potuto finalmente frequentare il mio attesissimo w..."

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Rear Window: Synesthetic Workshop

Rear Window: Synesthetic Workshop: "I spent my evening blindfolded in Marylebone, surrounded by older women as I inserted my hands into a variety of boxes. On this occasion th..."

Saturday, 19 February 2011

DANIELE CARLOTTA MAKES PERFUME-INSPIRED FASHION

Last night I was having a walk in the snow with Daniele, one of my all-time dearest friends. We've spent endless "baroque moments" together, as I often visit him and my iconic, boundless, priceless, life-rescuing group of Siclian friends. We've always shared with a certain emphasis the sweet and the sour of life, talked about our inner big-bangs and outer visions and how to survive and joy with all that, usually surrounded by the stunning South-eastern Sicilian scenarios that have become so dear to me.

Daniele is also known as fashion designer Daniele Carlotta, in fact last night he took me to the Dolce & Gabbana store in Via Spiga 2 Milan, as he had something to make my heart go boom. One of his creations was there, shining through the store window. He's designed a whole terrific collection which is now being sold under his label at their store. I'm so truly joyful and proud to see his star glow. Daniele is an example of how integrity, passion, joy and honesty to your life story make things happen.  Go to the store and check his work yourself.

I thought to put it here as the inspiration behind the collection is actually... perfume! It will be soon time to create a scent for his vision, or at least to know more about the inspiration... Daniele, would you like to tell us something more about that?

S/S 11 collection. Model Nicoletta Cannata.













Wednesday, 19 January 2011

THE SYNESTHESIST

In the creative projects I do I use the word synesthesia understood as a creative exploration of the connection between the senses. However the word itself also describes a neurological process which automatically links one sense to another (one's sensation perceived with one sense has a "correspondence" in another sense). People who experience synesthesia are called synesthesists. For the first time in my life, tonight, in an art gallery (South London Gallery), I have met one, who was part of a live performance. 3 musicians (Julien Discrit, Thomas Dupouy and Laurent Montaron) were playing a static music piece on three traditional reed organs and the synesthesist, Claude-Samuel Levine, "translated" the sound into a colour system which was simultaneously projected into the space. The performance was conceived with artist Ulla Von Brandenburg.




The synesthesist had one table were several cards of different colours had been laid, that he would pick up and use to form, on another table, a visual scenario according to the sounds the musicians played. I was really amazed and happy as it was the first time I saw a phenomena like synesthesia being investigated with a live performance. This could lead to other performances to further investigate this phenomena, why not using other senses...

The venue was packed and spectators were so impressed that after the performance many (including I) gathered around the synesthesist to ask him questions, which was rather confusing for both us and the guy I assume. In fact there wasn't a proper introduction or a Q&A time with the artists and the synesthesist. This is a shame: given the public's interest and being synesthesia a rather unknown-to-many territory, this would have helped the audience to get more into the "sensation" of such an interesting performance. I wonder what the actual artists' idea was...

However, the synesthesist was very kind and I managed just to ask whether he had worked with perfume. Unfortunately (for my ears) for now his experience (and maybe his synesthesia?) is related to music and sight, he is actually a composer too.

Claude also said that another couple of fascinating facts: first, when he hears a sound he can see its movement. Second, he actually experiences synesthesia with words and vowels too: for instance when he hears the vowel A he sees the colour yellow. So for the first time in my life I have met someone to relate to for an experience that I had only "heard of" in a poem. Did Rimbaud know about synesthesia or did he "just" contribute to its use in literature?! I wish I could ask him...

Vowels

A Black, E white, I red, U green, O blue : vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:
A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies
Which buzz around cruel smells,

Gulfs of shadow; E, whiteness of vapours and of tents,
Lances of proud glaciers, white kings, shivers of cow-parsley;
I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips
In anger or in the raptures of penitence;

U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas,
The peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows
Which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;

O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds,
Silences crossed by Worlds and by Angels:
O the Omega, the violet ray of Her Eyes!


 
Voyelles

A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu : voyelles,
Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes :
A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes
Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles,

Golfes d'ombre ; E, candeur des vapeurs et des tentes,
Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d'ombelles ;
I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres belles
Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes ;

U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides,
Paix des pâtis semés d'animaux, paix des rides
Que l'alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux ;

O, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges,
Silence traversés des Mondes et des Anges :
- O l'Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux ! -
A. Rimbaud





Monday, 3 January 2011

COME TO MY PERFUME WORKSHOPS!




LE LABO SYNESTHETIC SERIES - A CREATIVE WORKSHOP

As part of LE LABO’s mission to increase their customer’s knowledge on perfume, synesthetic provocateur Nicola Pozzani will introduce you to a one-of-a-kind series of creative workshops. This is a unique workshop experience currently offered only in Le Labo London.

Le Labo Synesthetic Series is a series of 5 syneshetic workshops about perfume, which will take place once a month, on Sunday afternoons at Le Labo Devonshire Street’s boutique in London. Students will experience perfume by using the 5 senses with a synesthetic approach, which means they will explore the connections between the sense of smell (the one directly related to scent) and the other senses (vision, touch, sound and taste). Students will then develop their perfume knowledge through their sensory perception and their creativity.

Le Labo Synesthetic workshops will be 100% interactive. Working in small groups, Students will learn about Le Labo fragrances and the finest perfume ingredients they are made of. Students will then engage in practical sensory exercises and by doing so will become actively involved in experiencing the connections between perfume and other sensations. This synesthetic experience will help them expand their knowledge of scent.

Furthermore, by exploring the sensations perfume can transmit, students will have the chance to experience perfume as an art form, as a creative language and become aware of the creative scenarios that lay behind fragrance creation. They will eventually become more sensitive to scent and gain a newly discovered perception of perfume. 

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW!

When : Every last Sunday of the month from January to May 2011 (Workshop 1 will be Jan 30th)
Time : 4 pm to 6 pm
Where : Le Labo London – 28A Devonshire Street, London W1G 6PS
Price : 45 Pounds
Number of places : maximum 6 per session
RSVP : lelabolondon@lelabofragrances.com or +44 20 3441 1535

http://www.lelabofragrances.com/
 
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