Recreating ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’

Occasionally, you’re scrolling through Instagram and something particularly catches your eye. Today it was, firstly, a still from the magnificent film adaptation of Patrick Süsskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. And secondly, the rather intriguing text beneath…

‘Sexy gingers wanted!’ Redheads all around the world, we are looking for you! Mediamatic is looking for sexy gingers who let us extract their scent during Playhouse: Sex S(m)ells! Inspired by Patrick Süsskind’s ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’ we will recreate the perfume from the book. Interested and not afraid of people inhaling your smell? E-mail to: workshop@mediamatic.nl

Well now. In the novel (and resulting film adaptation) of Perfume, the protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, is born with an extraordinary sense of smell. Those of you who have read the book or seen the film will be aware that his methods of capturing people’s scents are rather, um, murder-y, as the title may suggest. Lest potential volunteers are put off by this, the Institute for Art and Olfaction add a helpful footnote:

‘The redheads don’t actually need to be sexy, but exhibitionism is a must. We’re going to attempt Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s experiments, minus the murder!’

So that’s reassuring!

Earlier this year, the Art and Olfaction team arrived in London for their annual Award ceremony, celebrating independent and artisanal perfumers and artists who work with the sense of smell. Prior to the awards, there were many workshops, talks and performances taking place in Los Angeles, where the IAO are based, culminating in an Experimental Scent Summit in London, which we were delighted to take part in. The next award ceremony (2019) will be in Amsterdam, and ahead of this the IAO team will be taking up residence for the next month. As they explain…

Mediamatic and the institute for Art and Olfaction Team up for a summer program exploring innovative topics around olfaction. Over the course of a month, the IAO Los Angeles team will be in residence at Mediamatic in the first part of an ongoing research and programme on open scent culture and olfactory art.

Join us in our Aroma Lab for perfume blending workshops, follow our live on-site podcast production, learn about sex smells and join our aromatic game show, or a range of other activities presented by the IAO’s Los Angeles-based team.’

We can’t wait to see what they produce. Would you be brave enough to volunteer to have your scent ‘extracted’? We’re thinking it would certainly make for a unique ‘What I Did On My Summer Holiday’ diary entry, if nothing else!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

The 'Golden Pear' Awards come to London…

We’re rather thrilled the Art and Olfaction Awards are coming to London in April 2018! The awards (aka ‘The Golden Pears’) are a program of The Institute for Art and Olfaction, a non-profit organisation based in Los Angeles, USA.
An annual event showcasing the very best niche and artisan perfumes from around the world, independent perfumers and small-scale brands are invited to submit their fragranced wares (closing date is November 1st though, folks, so you need to get a wriggle on!) by filling in the online form, and then sending a 20ml bottle of the perfume for judging.
The rules are as follows…
‘For the 5th annual awards, we accept submissions from independent and artisan perfumers, and experimental practitioners with scent from all countries. 
Brands must be independently owned, or owned by a parent company with no more than four fine fragrance holdings in its brand portfolio. In the independent and artisan categories, we accept perfumes first released to market between January 1 and December 31, 2017. In the Sadakichi Award, we accept projects that had or will have their public début between December 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017.’


The Institute for Art and Olfaction say: ‘Awarded to just four perfumes and one experimental project a year, The Golden Pears is designed to raise interest and awareness for independent and artisan perfumers – and experimental practitioners with scent – from all countries. By shining a spotlight on perfumery’s most outstanding creators, we hope to help generate support for independent practices in perfumery as a whole.’

Submissions close: November 1st, 11:59pm PST
Physical submissions must be received on or before November 14th, 2017

Round one judging : November 14, 2017  – January 15, 2018
Round two judging: January 15 – March 1, 2018

Finalists Announcement at Esxence: April 5, 2018
5th annual Art and Olfaction Awards at The Tabernacle in London: April 21, 2018

Niche perfumery was once viewed somewhat sneeringly, but the larger brands have had to sit up and take notice in the last few years (indeed, acquiring a few of them along the way to add to their existing portfolios), because those brands have ploughed the way for new trends to emerge, a fresher breath of air that provides a barometer for the rest of the industry. Whether perfume-lovers are directly seeking out more unusual and under-the-radar brands because they ‘don’t want to smell like everyone else’, or perhaps we’re all just getting a little braver in our fragrance choices; it’s become clear that niche is the new black.
And we can’t wait to see what the awards uncover next…
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Art and Olfaction Awards 2017 shortlist: the fragrant names you need to familiarise yourself with right now…

During last week’s Esxence fragrance exhibition in Milan, the shortlist for the fourth annual Art and Olfaction Awards was announced in a special presentation. Some of the partners and judges for the awards were there in person, to declare the good news for those breathlessly waiting to hear if they’d made the cut – anxiously watching the faces and hanging on every word of Luca Turin, Helder Suffenplan, Adam Eastwood and Franco Wright, Antonio Gardoni, Christophe Laudamiel and Saskia Wilson-Brown, we’re sure!

Celebrating independent, artisinal perfumery and those indie houses that really push the boundaries in exciting ways – we are excited to see names we know well and already admire greatly among some we’ve not yet had the pleasure of getting our hands (and noses!) on and will be following with great interest.
So, for those who weren’t able to make the presentation, here’s the list of those who will be gnawing their fingernails a little longer while they await the finals on May 6, at Silent Green Kulturquartier in Berlin…

ARTISAN CATEGORY

Baraonda
by Nasomatto (The Netherlands)
CD/ Perfumer: Alessandro Gualtieri
Bruise Violet
by Sixteen92 (USA)
CD/ Perfumer: Claire Baxter
Ceremony
by Mirus Fine Fragrance (USA)
CD/ Perfumer: Neal Peters
Fatih Sultan Mehmed
by Fort and Manlé Parfum (Australia)
CD/ Perfumer: Rasei Fort and Al Manlé
Limestone
by Thorn & Bloom (USA)
CD/ Perfumer: Jennifer Botto
Liquorice Vetiver
by SP Parfums (Germany)
CD/ Perfumer: Sven Pritzkoleit
Mélodie de l’Amour
by Parfums Dusita (France)
CD/ Perfumer: Pissara Umavijani
Onycha
by DSH Perfumes (USA)
CD/ Perfumer: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
Rosuerrier
by Pryn Parfum (Thailand)
CD/ Perfumer: Prin Lomros
Saffron
by Aether Arts Perfume (USA)
CD/ Perfumer: Amber Jobin
Vanilla and the Sea
by Phoenix Botanicals (USA)
CD/ Perfumer: Irina Adam

INDEPENDENT CATEGORY
Absolue D’Osmanthe
by Perris Monte Carlo (Monaco)
CD: Gian Luca Perris / Perfumer: Jean Michel Santorini
Altruist
by J.F. Schwarzlose Berlin (Germany)
CD: Lutz Herrmann / Perfumer: Véronique Nyberg
Anti Anti
by Atelier PMP (Germany)
CD: Stefanie Mayr, Daniel Plettenberg / Perfumer: Mark Buxton, David Chieze
Belle de Jour
by Eris Parfums (USA)
CD: Barbara Herman / Perfumer: Antoine Lie
Civet
by Zoologist (Canada)
CD: Victor Wong / Perfumer: Shelley Waddington
Close Up
by Olfactive Studio (France)
CD: Céline Verleure / Perfumer: Annick Mennardo
Lankaran Forest
by Maria Candida Gentile Maitre Parfumeur (Italy)
CD/ Perfumer: Maria Candida Gentile Team
Maître Chausseur
by Extrait D’Atelier (Italy)
CD: Chiara Ronzani / Perfumer: Not Disclosed
Romanza
by Masque Milano (Italy)
CD: Alessandro Brun, Riccardo Tedeschi / Perfumer: Cristiano Canali
Fathom V
by BeauFort London (UK)
CD: Leo Crabtree / Perfumer: Julie Marlowe
Stones
by Atelier de Geste (USA)
CD: Beau Rhee / Perfumer: Irina Nesa

SADAKICHI AWARD
Is This Mankind
by Peter de Cupere (Belgium)
Perfumer: Various
Osmodrama Berlin / Smeller 2.0
by Wolfgang Georgsdorf (Germany)
Perfumer: Various
Paradise Paradoxe
by Elodie Pong (Switzerland)
Perfumer: Anonymous
Smell of Data
by Leanne Wijnsma (The Netherlands)
Perfumer: Leanne Wijnsma with ScentAir
The Feelies: Multisensory Storytelling – Amazon
by Grace Boyle (UK)
Perfumer: Nadjib Achaibou (Singapore)
 

We were thrilled to see the inclusion of proudly independent British brand, BeauFort London‘s Fathom V on the shortlist! A well deserved finalist, we have been raving about this fragrance since we first sniffed it. Humongously green – imagine a florist-shop filled with freshly snapped stalks, fat buds bursting and white flowers tied raggedly with twine – this would fill an entire fairytale palace with its otherworldly life-force, with echoes of roiling salty waves mercilessly crashing on rocks as lightning tears the sky assunder.
It’s awards season a-go-go in scent land at the moment, with the Perfumed Plume awards also just announced in the US (many congrats to Basenotes for their nominations!) and the prestigious annual British Fragrance Foundation Awards being judged right now. And oh boy, that’s an exciting list of names we absolutely cannot wait to see…
Written by Suzy Nightingale