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

 

Chanel launch Coco Mademoiselle Intense

It’s rare for Chanel to release a new fragrance, so when we heard there was an intensified of Coco Mademoiselle launching, we were hoisting the flags. Ushered into their suave Bond Street showroom, we were taken through the fragrance journey and got ready to plunge into the deeper, darker and even more captivating version of the original…

Perfumer Oliver Polge has constructed his composition around a far higher proportion of patchouli leaves atop a richly resinous amber base, swirled through with toasty tonka bean and addictive vanilla in their absolute (strongest) form.

Lovers of the orginal need not fear – your dose of Sicilian orange and Calabrian bergamot is still there, as are the fullsome garlands of rose and jasmine in the heart. It’s a tribute to Polge’s mastery that each element can be identified, but the character is definitely more mysterious, wavering between the freshness and a mischeviously seductive trail that lingers all day.

While in the showroom – surrounded by balloons and a grand piano, no less! – we were honoured to be among the first to see the new advertising campaign, once again starring Keira Knightley (incredibly, the muse of the iconic perfume for more than a decade, now) who cavorts and pillow-fights her way through what looks like the best party ever. Embodying the spirit of Coco Mademoiselle Intense, the film shows Knightley effortlessly transitioning from sophisticated modernity to exuberantly playful – just as we feel while wearing it…

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Intense from £82 for 50ml eau de parfum

Buy it at chanel.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Enjoy a little #takeyourchance film-fest from Chanel

‘Take a chance on me / that’s all I ask of you honey’ sang ABBA, and many millions of perfume lovers have fallen for the charms of Chanel’s Chance since it was first launched in 2003. Created by Jaques Polge, this ‘unexpected floral’ is distinctive from the iconic, chunky bottles of previous fragrances, the round bottle representing a wheel of fortune, for ‘…to be lucky, you have to take a Chance.’

But did you know there are four differing versions to choose your own Chance?

Chanel have now revealed the new Chance campaign for 2018: a series of four delightfully playful mini-films, offering an invitation to ‘take your chance’, each film starring a vibrantly contemporary woman – highlighting the four differing facets of the fragrance, depending which version you plump for.

‘4 fragrances, 4 colours, 4 states of mind represented by 4 women’ say Chanel. So now, the only question remains: which Chance will you take…?

WITH ANGELA YUEN TAKE YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU TENDRE, a floral-fruity fragrance that blends the grapefruit-quince accord with the softness of jasmine and the smoothness of white musk notes, Angela Yuen is the epitome of delicateness. Originally from Hong Kong, the talented 23-year-old actress currently stars in the film The White Girl, directed by Jenny Suen.’

Watch the interview here

Chance Eau Tendre from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

WITH SELAH MARLEY LIVE YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE, this floral fragrance that blends pink pepper, jasmine and ambery patchouli, Selah Marley shines with optimism. Daughter of singer Lauryn Hill, the 19-year-old American model is a frequent figure at CHANEL events and walked the runway for the Paris-Cosmopolite Collection.’

Watch the interview here 

Chanel Chance from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

WITH BELEN CHAVANNE FOLLOW YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU FRAÎCHE, this floral-sparkling fragrance that melds notes of citron, jasmine and teak wood, Belen Chavanne is bursting with freshness. The 28-year-old model and actress from Argentina is regularly seen at CHANEL events and is a loyal fan of the House.’

Watch the interview here

Chance Eau Fraîche from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

WITH LILY NEWMARK INVENT YOUR CHANCE
‘With CHANCE EAU VIVE, this floral-zesty fragrance stirred by the vivifying notes of grapefruit and blood orange, Lily Newmark’s vitality is contagious. The 22-year-old Anglo-American film and television actress currently stars in the film Pin Cushion, which competed at the Cannes Film Festival and was directed by Deborah Haywood. She can also be seen in the 2018 film Born a King directed by Agustí Villaronga.’

Watch the interview here

Chance Eau Vive from £62 for 50ml eau de toilette

Buy them all at chanel.com

Shot in the stunning Italian city of Venice, the films were directed by award-winning Canadian director Eva Michon, and there’s even a dedicated CHANCE CHANEL channel (try saying that quickly ten times!) set up on Instagram @chancechanel , where you can join in the celebrations by following #TAKEYOURCHANCE and #CHANCECHANEL

Want to know more about the fascinating history of Chanel’s perfumes (and how they changed the face of fragrance?) Read our page dedicated to Chanel’s perfumes

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Do you Cinéhaïku? Enter the MEMO Paris weekly poetic short film competition to win $500 or $10,000!

Cinematically inclined scent-o-philes are encouraged to indulge their creativity with a plunge in to the world of short films… As Clara Molloy, founder of MEMO Paris perfumes breezed through town, today, to launch Eau de Memo (watch this space!), she told us all about a rather exciting competition that we know many of our artistic readership would love to get involved
MEMO Paris perfumes have established a weekly competition of poetic films – merely between 20 and 30 seconds in length, yet expressing timeless stories far deeper than the actual time frame may suggest. Through MEMO’s dedicated Cinéhaïku website, film directors both amateur and professional are invited to express themselves through a simple exercise: adapt the rules of haiku to an audiovisual format.
So what, exactly, is a Haiku? Well, Jack Kerouac put it as ‘A sentence that’s short and sweet with a sudden jump of thought in it, is a kind of haiku,’ though if you want a more in-depth description, there are countless websites dedicated to the art and history of this poetic medium. But how to translate this in to a short film? The rules to follow are on the Cinéhaiku competition page under how to participate, but basically it’s a 20-30 second snippet of something that ‘captures a lived moment.’

Each week, from March 6 to June 29, 2017, a winner will be chosen by Cinéhaïku members and awarded a $500 prize. The prize-winning films are then automatically entered into the Cinéhaïku Festival to compete for the annual prize. The overall winner of the year’s best Cinéhaïku will be invited to France to receive a quite incredible $10,000 prize awarded by a professional jury selected from the world of art, film and literature, and the winner will also be given a separate, dedicated space in the festival.
Cinéhaïku say: ‘The annual Cinéhaïku festival will showcase all of the weekly winning films at a temporary exhibition held from July 7 to 21, 2017 throughout the town of Gordes, in the Luberon region of southern France. The Cinéhaïkus will be broadcast on screens along an aesthetic trail, providing festival-goers with a true moment of poetry suspended in time.’
Our film would just have to be about perfume and the sense of smell, of course – but what would you haiku…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Sarah Baker fuses art, film & fragrance in a decadent soap opera feast for the senses. Watch the film and smell the perfumes…

London-based artist Sarah Baker is fascinated in the cult of celebrity, depictions of glamour and the extravagent shoulder-pads-at-dawn dramas played out in American soap operas. Though Baker’s career has thus far mainly revolved around making her own films, in to this heady mix of art and film she wanted to weave another layer of storytelling  – this time through the medium of scent.
Working with the prestigious Institute of Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles, Sarah Baker began to develop her own perfume line, collaborating with renowned perfumers, with Baker overseeing production from her East London Studio and the four fragrances finally launching at a decadent art show/party in December. Says Baker, ‘Each perfume is inspired by luxurious fashion motifs that evoke lavish scenes; while gazing at the printed bottles and smelling the perfumes, one could, for instance, be instantaneously transported onto the deck of a yacht in the Mediterranean….’
Sarah Baker Perfumes take us on a journey from the fizzing ozonic freshness of grapefruit and hedoine’s cooling breeze in Greek Keys, to the frankincense, florals and castoreum ferocious animalic growl (underpinned by fuzzy fur) in Leopard. Taking a softer turn, we have milky musk, coconut, vanilla and an ambrox sexiness of bare skin glimpsed in Lace; finishing with the full-on smokiness of open fires, heather-strewn hills, leather, hops and tobacco of Tartan. An eclectic and genuinely evocative collection, the Greek Keys and Leopard were made by perfumer Ashley Eden Kessler; Lace and Tartan by 4160 Tuesdays very own Sarah McCartney. At once enlivening, challenging and comforting – they are all a true feast for the senses.
Sarah Baker Perfumes are currently £60 for 50ml eau de parfum, and available at sarahbakerperfumes.com
The worlds of film, fashion and fragrance are set to collide this Saturday, with the showing of Baker’s 2013 film Impirioso the story of a wealth and fame obsessed fashion heiress who murders her husband when he sells the family fashion business, in the style of an ultra-glam 80s mini tv series.
And vital news for fragrance fanatics – you’ll be able to smell all the perfumes following the film. Sarah Baker explains that, in fact, ‘…Impirioso is actually the artwork which inspired me to make perfumes. It’s not about perfumes at all, it’s about a woman who murders her husband (based on Patrizia Reggiani) . Instead of using Gucci documentary/biopic-style I created a fake fashion brand “Rocco Rosso” and with it the logo and costumes, hats, home wares. It inspired me to finally make a real product, I had always wanted to produce a perfume, and that’s when I started working with Saskia from Institute for Art and Olfaction.’
You can watch the trailer for the film by clicking here
After the screening you’ll be guided across the road to Storefront – the installation where Baker’s perfumes are displayed, for smelling, wine and chats. It all sounds gloriously glamorous, and, even better – tickets for Impirioso are FREE, but booking is required.
The Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton
Saturday 14 January
4.30pm
Trains run regularly from St Pancras Station and it’s a 1 min walk to the screening from Luton Station.
Written by Suzy Nightingale