Taking inspiration from the art of photography, Pictor Parfum translate our deepest feelings through sensorially evoked, emotionally expressive fragrances.
One of the most challenging aspects of describing fragrance (indeed, any emotionally evocative art form) is the limitations of language, and the words we have to express how we’re feeling. Pictor Parfum draw on the visual for their scents, taking direct inspiration from the timeless, lasting impact a striking photograph can carry – exactly the way a fragrance can make us feel, which is immediately impactful, yet lingers so long. Founded in London in 2023 by the so-entrepreneurial Holly Hutchinson; Pictor Parfum describe the reason this visual art medium formed the idea for a new fragrance house, saying:
‘Photography, like perfumery, is a language, which uses sensorial elements in lieu of words. Photography, like perfumery, exploits the sensitivity of human perception and can make us experience emotions that move us and compel us to do things that we otherwise would not even think of.’
Using British perfumers and created within the U.K. Pictor Parfum explain their bottles are topped with ‘Carefully handmade, eco-friendly Terrazzo caps, of which no two are the same,’ and that ‘our sustainability focus leads us to use sustainable jesmonite, recyclable packaging and biodegradable cello wrap.’ What’s more, they seek to open our minds (and our hearts) when wearing a perfume – particularly when we experience it for the first time. It’s a long-held belief of our’s at The Perfume Society that this is the only true way to connect with a fragrance on a deeper level than thinking ‘that smells nice.’ Indeed, this emotionally resonant connection with scent is how perfumers extensively train their noses to recognise and remember individual ingredients and accords (mixtures of notes) over many years. They must form an emotional memory – tap in to exactly the places, people, textures, colours and even sounds each ingredient evokes for them, personally. Such connections cannot be taught, exactly; they must be felt. And this is something each of us can learn to tap in to, and which Pictor Parfum encourage. Urging us to ‘live life and remember’ (SO much better than that trite phrase of ‘live, laugh, love’ don’t you think?!), they say:
‘In a world of uncertainty, in a life of endless possibilities and experiences, in a time of change and adaptability, we implore you to embrace the multi-faceted excitement of life. Reminisce over journeys travelled, the paths of people we cross, the memories made and the ones you are yet to make.’
Within Time Lapse, for example, it’s the delicacy of green leaves and violet overlap with slowly unfurling white flowers, seemingly caught in a shaft of sunlight on the skin as it warms. Aperture, meanwhile, is a flood of light drenching the senses – bright bergamot bouncing off the sharpness of blackcurrant, sun-soaked jasmine and gardenia revealing warmer plum and the woody patchouli base. Shadow takes a deeper plunge, embracing ‘dark and light in union’ (and therefore, our whole selves), via smoky tobacco, tendrils of it snaking through leather and soft suede kissed with spices. Contrasting that, Flash is an explosion of zinging ginger and pink peppercorns with tart raspberry, but all wrapped in a powdery hug; while Perspective urges us to shift up our view via multidimensional layers of mystical incense and rich ripples of resinous notes shot through with piquant juniper and smoky birch.
With so many more of these snapshots in scent to fully explore for yourselves, we say – how refreshing for a house to urge us to explore our visual sense in combination with our sense of smell. It’s something many more artists, museums and galleries around the world are waking up to, and so perfectly expressed within the Pictor Parfum collection, who proudly say ‘our impact is as much visual as it is olfactory.’ Think of this house as being ‘a carefully curated collection, like a considered collection of photos. We seek to uncover the parameters of both the lens and perfumery, using photography as our jumping off point for inspiration.’ Now you only need decide which your jumping off point will be (we suggest perusing the imagery, perhaps, and seeing which immediately draws you in…), and wonder which will leave the most lasting impression on you…?