What makes it art?

There is a question that keep me think about it for quite a long time. And not only me I guess, but many perfume lovers. What is the difference between a nice smelling blend and perfume as a piece of art? How does the aesthetic of perfume work? Unfortunately this question is difficult to answer on a rational level. You need to learn to feel the difference. And sometimes you can sense that “piece of art” feeling…

Like the video I found recently on youtube (thanks to my perfumista-friends). This video is an artistic project and actually it’s a skillfully made illusion. But knowing that doesn’t diminish the effect it makes on you. As a skillfully created perfume is also an illusion – a fantasy of a perfumer that you voluntary makes your reality and admire.

Please, watch it in YouTube (right mouse click and than choose whatch on YouTube) in full screen mode to get the right imression.

Even knowing it’s not real I still would describe this video as beautiful (nice to watch), impressive and expressive (it communicates with me on emotional level) and it’s complete (it’s a whole story). And what is also important it’s inspiring – it motivates and encourages. Funny I guess I’ve just mentioned a couple of key moments that could describe a “piece of art”.

This video makes me also think of a masculine fragrance advertisement. But it has something I really miss in many of them. What could it be? Character? Courage? Uniqueness?


Fragrances you don't wear in the Zoo!

There are several practical wisdoms in life that I always approached as funny jokes. One of them is a rule never to wear a musk fragrance in the zoo. Do you remember it from The Nanny TV-soap? But there seem to be more truth in it than you might imagine. You should really be careful choosing the perfume you are going to wear in the zoo. But first look at this funny commercial and think.

Here is a nice fragrant riddle. What fragrances might the father wearing in the following funny commercial?

You’ll probably find answer at the website of the Wildlife Conservation Society. They’ve discovered that several commercial perfumes are attractive for big cats. Pat Thomas, the general curator at the Bronx Zoo has studied the influence of 24 fragrances on tigers, snow leopards and cheetahs by spraying the perfumes on the rocks and trees at the places of exhibits of those animals. It was funny to discover, that the reaction of animals varied depending on the fragrance. Beautiful by Estee Lauder and Charlie by Revlon were found not to be interesting. But L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci and Obsession for men by Calvin Klein turned out to be very attractive. Big cats spent on average 10,4 and 11,1 minutes respectively investigating each if them. Not only by sniffing, but also rubbing against it with their heads and paws.

This discovery is used to collect information about the wild life of cats. The conservationists from WCS have sprayed Obsession near the automatic cameras reacting on movements or temperature. The fragrance helped to attract the animals and hold their attention while the camera’s were making pictures of them.

More details on the experiment you can find on:

The website of WSC

The Guardian

And here is a film from the WSC showing how cats react on the fragrance.

Well, I tried if it could work on my little cats too. But both of them have shown no interest to Obsession. May be they are not big enough to play the games for adults?


A tuberose dessert presented in a wooden box

Cèdre by Serge Lutens

This fragrance is created in 2005 by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens. The notes are: Cedarwood, Tuberose, Musk, Amber en Cinnamon.

It was my First niche fragrance I bought. Walking through a local store I quickly noticed the bottles of the new brand I didn’t know yet. I stopped to take a closer look and to smell. And I was completely fallen in love with Cèdre.

You probably expect Cèdre to smell like Cedar or at least to have distinct woody notes. Not in this one. This one is all about the tuberose. Yes, there are some woody notes at the opening, but are they real? Or is it your imagination that tries to create what you expect find there? Wood in this fragrance is only a package, an ornamental wooden box presenting you an exotic tuberose dessert. The flowers here are made from a whipped cream sweetened with some tuberose flavored syrup and warmed with spices. A big gourmand tuberose presented in a wooden box with oriental ornament – this is what Cèdre is about in my opinion. This fragrance helped me to discover my passion for tuberose flower.

Luca Turin calls it a niche version of Amarige. And I can agree with him – it’s a very similar tuberose, but more elegant, more oriental (woody-spicy) and without mimosa dust. Poison might be another good example of a loud sultry tuberose (served with honing, blackberries and low fat cream rather than spices). But this one is more floral and less oriental, than Cédre.