The verbs available for describing what works of olfactory art can do to you are myriad: they can coax (Flora), delight (Happy), alert (Terre), mesmerize (Eau de Lière) or caress (Coco Mademoiselle). They can (and I apologize for the grossly clichéd marketing term, but) seduce you (Samsara) in the very specific sense of approaching you with a sensual aesthetic as opposed to, say, chic (Candy) or elegance (Chanel N° 19) or whispering just outside the 120° visual span of the human eye (l’Eau d’Hiver).
The artist who created S01E02 is one of the most important commercial creative forces working today, an olfactory James Cameron in terms of grosses and profits. (He has made billions of dollars for the perfume industry, much more than Cameron will ever make for the movie industry.)
But he— or she, of course— also possesses a Cameron-esque imagination, one that is seldom let loose by commercial patrons. This patron, by contrast, had the balls to let their artist run wild, and E02 is in my opinion a work of wild, virtually magical artistry. Here is a creativity almost never seen. E02 does something few other scents can do: Force a sharp intake of breath—the jaw drops, the eyes narrow—both because of its deeply strange beauty and its deeply beautiful strangeness.
E02 is a work of olfactory science fiction. It is not merely the morphing of the eau fraîche into a 22nd century form (which would be feat enough), it is the scent of a plant, a lovely curling vine, in a garden built in outer space. It is the green scent of the plant’s delicate green tentacles and its graceful leaves in the precious, pressurized air circulating in cool post-metal tubes, a perfect equilibrium of the heartbreakingly natural and the mesmerizingly artificial.
E02’s artist has given this plant no flower. He has referenced only the scent of its stem and leaf and tendril, the water that nourishes it, and the glowing capsule, whose marvelously synthetic sunlight protects it from the vacuum outside. (He has included the vacuum too, not its scent of course—space has none—but its weird phantom impact.)
Like other works I’m going to include in The Untitled Series, E02, which has been on the market for years, is among the greatest of the below-the-radar great works I’ve been lucky enough to come across. Its technical specs are excellent. Diffusion and structure are perfect. Persistence, given the many very light molecules I assume the artist worked with here, is admirably executed.
There is nothing else like this extraordinary futurist green that smells as if it were laced with oxygen, if oxygen had a smell. Wear it. It’s not a perfume. Perfumes are things people notice. E02 is something people perceive.
And in video form:
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