Nothing 2 See | Breaking Free & The Scent of Escape

Freddie-Mercury-Break-Free-wide

Breaking Free with Nature’s Relentless Escape Artist What is fragrance? A seemingly simple question, which of course, comes with a not so simple answer. Thanks to a litany of tangential meanings applied to fragrance throughout human history, attempting to decisively answer that very question has become a bit of a Sisyphean task. That’s because at its fundamental core, a fragrance is nothing to see… an inexplicable nothing with an unique power to somehow stir in us a great deal …continue…

Recapping LA Adventures & AIX Scent Fair

Stikki Peaches and Thrashbird on Melrose

Okay. Okay. I (am learning to) love LA. For me, Los Angeles is like that neighborhood kid you grew up with, who once upon a time you used to go out of your way to avoid, but now, later in life, has become one of your favorite drinking buddies. I definitely can’t ever see myself living there (the driving alone brings out that homicidal rage in me that secretly lurks inside us all), but with the passage …continue…

Asphalt Rainbow: Why Fragrance & Street Art

Blek le Rat "Sleeping Man"

“Art must serve a cause; not a military cause, or political, but a social cause.” – Blek le Rat Since the very beginning of the Asphalt Rainbow project, I have been quite adamant that the purpose of this particular experiment is not to simply add a fragrance component to a street art piece. That’s not to say that incorporating an olfactive element into existing street art wouldn’t produce interesting results, because it could. However, …continue…

Stonewall, 45 Years Later

SW45-Featured-Image

Christopher Street is currently playing host to Stonewall 45: Windows Into LGBT History. This Greenwich Village educational exhibition commemorates the 45th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots: the three-day historic event now heavily regarded as the spark that triggered the rise of the US LGBT rights movement. Over two dozen storefronts stretching from Greenwich Avenue to Greenwich Street, tell the story of the cultural climate surrounding that fateful June night. The Christopher Street …continue…

Let’s Talk About Sex (and Fragrance)

macerated-brain

There’s no denying the inseparable bond that exists between sex, desire, and fragrance. The old adage that “sex sells” is not a concept some perfume makers adopt lightly, but is instead a tactic amplified to an almost absurdist extreme (Hello. Vulva the perfume oil anyone?). This constant obsession with sex and fragrance drowns out many other messages regarding the potential benefits of fragrance. An obscene amount of fragrance ads (and ad dollars spent) …continue…

The Rules of Olfaction

Street-Apple-Stockholm

Olfaction really involves two things: application and experience. We place scent on our bodies AND we seek it out in the world. In today’s audiovisual-centric world, the full beauty of our olfactory senses can easily be overlooked. People tend to inappropriately dismiss fragrance as just another fashion accessory (so for beauty application only), undervaluing its full, active potential. Perhaps this is because they simply do not understand how deeply we …continue…

Fragrance Points of View

phrenology

Fragrance is an object of overlapping points of view. A scent, at any given moment, is made up of a series of simultaneous inputs and outputs, stimulations and exclamations. Its effects are both physical and psychological. While a scent can be worn by many, it still can feel quite personal by how deeply it individually touches us. Moreover, it is never static. I was thinking about this idea of fragrance …continue…

Fragrance From The Top

Christopher_Street_Triangle

When describing fragrances like Christopher Street, we have a tendency to break these scents down into three basic components: top (or head) notes, mid (or heart) notes, and dry (or base) notes. While convenient for writing up fragrance descriptions, in truth, perfume is more of an harmonious mixture than implied by such dissections. While the top, mid, and dry notes are neatly separated in copy, or as represented in fragrance …continue…

5 Faces of Fragrance

egyptian-lotus

Last week, I was having an interesting conversation on Twitter involving fragrance’s many usages throughout history, and wanted to revisit the theme in a little more depth in hopes of clarifying my meaning. Here’s a closer look at the 5 Faces of Fragrance… five interesting ways in which we have made use of our mighty powers of olfaction. Functional Face The simplest (and most primal) form of olfaction. Be it …continue…

What’s a Fragrance Brief?

Jasmine Enfleurage - What's a Fragrance Brief?

I have to admit, aside from actual fragrance formulation, my favorite part of the development process has to be writing the fragrance brief. The brief is the blueprint, the underlying story you expect your scent to tell. A good brief not only includes notes for designing the olfactive story, but also any relevant inspirational pieces a perfumer and the rest of the creative team might use to begin formulating scent …continue…