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  1. #1

    Default do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Do you find that the types of scents you're drawn to match other aesthetic areas in your life?

    For example, modern art / architecture / music / jewelry and modern frags?

    Victorian?

    Baroque?

    Romantic?

    Art Deco?

    Rustic / country?

    Punk?

    Ethnic?

    etc., etc.,

    Or, do your scent preferences compliment your other aesthetic bents?

    I'm asking because visually I strongly prefer modern art and mid century architecture, but classic literature, music of all kinds, jewelry that is either very vintage or modern, and generally like to have visual things that are not too frilly or complicated around me. My scent preferences, on the other hand, run to the much more complex; modern frags have not been appealing to me much, which surprises me due to my preferences in other aesthetic areas of life. Do you find that is the case with you as well?

  2. #2
    BN better than ever
    Quarry's Avatar
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    This is an intriguing question. I'm going to have to give it due consideration.
    Monarch butterflies require milkweed to prevent extinction

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    I can only say that my scent preferences maybe match my personality - I like a little of this and a little of that. I am all over the place...

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Oh, yes.
    Chypre and Oriental. Woody fragrances. All-naturals.
    Art Deco and Persian rugs.
    Japanese, with plenty of rocks, wood, and water.

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    My favorite fragrances are the venerable classics and other classically-styled scents. My taste in art, however, runs to those newfangled guys - they've started to call themselves impressionists or some such thing.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    ... after some thought ... no, I guess there is no relationship. And the fact there isn't, is really remarkable. I think your question, seattlelight, is even more profound now that I know there appears to be no discernable pattern--a eureka moment . Huh. Really fascinating.
    Monarch butterflies require milkweed to prevent extinction

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    As a Gemini/Snake/Taoist I love whatever is in front of me at the moment. And that goes for all aspects of existence (saw the most adorable ladybug today...going about it's little business. Made me think of Moschino.).....In tai chi class, my chi partner said I smelled of freshly ironed sheets - although I was wearing Noa.

    Those gorgeous, Byzantine turnip-topped Russian churches? Avignon!! But also Tabu. I love Gehry's work - Odeur 71!! The Pre-Raphs? (See Asha's Avatar!!) Libertine!! Evening on the screened-in-porch with Sweet-tea and Pynchon? L'Heure Bleu.

    Musse 'n' Me - we're all over the place.
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    What an interesting question! I'm not sure whether or not my fragrance preferences mirror my other preferences. My tastes are rather eclectic.

    Architecture - I like rustic/handcrafted in natural materials and ultra-modern simplicity of line (also classicist references)

    Music - As I've aged - esp. in the past ten years or so - I've been listening to jazz (but I love all genres of music)

    Painting - I'm especially drawn to simplicity of line but with lush color and texture.

    Jewelry - Like you I go for vintage or antique glitz or else very modern & sculptural

    Fragrances - I'm all over the map - chypres, florals, gourmands, everything. My biggest latest fall in love discovery is Jicky.

    I suppose I'm most attracted to simplicity and spaciousness of form or structure but with a tactility and sensuality of expression? Somebody many years ago (a sculptor) accused me of being a trendy romanticist and a boring classicist. I suppose I being disagreeable at the time. One must worship artists unconditionally. :-) But actually he was quite right. I've outgrown my trendy romanticism, but it looks like I'll always be a classicist. And I do tend to go for the classics in frags.

  9. #9

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    I don't think so.
    I like heavy, sturdy, dark wood in the home (love it, and hate when it's painted over), and dark colors (rugs, drapes). I detest glass tables and really sheer drapes. I also like intricately carved wood boxes. I prefer dim lighting. I like classical and even gothic architecture. In music I love dissonance, I like several tempo changes, and random (seemingly) taps of a bow.
    When it comes to perfume I insist on transparency. I also like to know what I'm getting, and don't enjoy a perfume that goes through several distinct changes...I'm not interested in the journey. I like the base- so much that I don't want to spend 45 minutes getting there. I don't much care for most classics. I like simple, uncluttered scents.
    Yet, I can recognize a general aesthetic. It must be useful beyond it sensual appeal. There is space on the table to place a drink on, and even it's decoration has other purposes (books or candles). I will never have white carpet, or "museum scents", nor do I have any use for scents that must be layered and combined to be palatable.

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    If there is a pattern I don't think it runs across all aesthetics for me. In most things I tend to have specific artists/creators that I like the work of, this doesn't seem to hold true in scent.
    Architecture- AWN Pugin, GG Scott and F Lloyd-Wright. Most Gothic Revival, early Gothic, some Classical, and Art Deco.
    Art-Bauhaus, Francis Bacon, Marc Chagall, Tamara de Lempicka, Paula Rego, and Edward Hopper. Some Pre-Raphaelite and some Orthodox Russian and Greek religious art.
    Music-Well my iPod must have the weirdest mix ever. Sex Pistols follow Saint-Saens, who follow Dizzee Rascal, and Billie Holiday after The Young Punx. Weird.
    Literature-Weirder and even less cohesive than my music taste.
    Scent-Gourmands, Orientals, violets, roses.

    Good thread, it's got me pondering.
    Last edited by chaoskitty; 14th May 2008 at 08:47 AM. Reason: because spelling and baby wrangling don't mix

  11. #11

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Very interesting question!

    Since I've devoted my life to art history, and quite recently become very interested in the world of scents I've been thinking a lot about these things, but my thoughts are still quite blurred so I'll have to get back to you on that.

    I think my taste in perfumes is quite close to my taste in interior decoration: I usually say that my super-ego has the taste of a japanese minimalist and my id the one of madame de Pompadour - and the result is a mess - but I love everything in it.

    The same goes for my perfume collection I think.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Guess I'm a chamealeon (sp?) as my tastes change with my moods. This must be why I'm never completely satisfied with either the decor of my home, my clothing, or my fragrance!!! Like Quarry ~ I'm having a 'eureka moment'!

  13. #13

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Leffleur, I'm your opposite in regard to aesthetics and frags.

    I think there is something personally enlightening here, but I'm not sure yet what it is.

    visual simplicity but complex, baroque fragrances ... I really don't know where I'm going with this...but I am enjoying reading about all of you!

  14. #14

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    I don't know about tastes in terms of specific periods and styles, but I have noticed that certain general aesthetics align. For instance, I'm always drawn to colors that are shades of reds, pinks, purples, browns, and muted greens. I think many of the fragrances I love would "translate" into these colors. I also tend to like things visually that are rustic, natural, textured, earthy (but in a spare, well-designed way, not in a hippie kind of way), and I can see similarities in notes I like: hay, tobacco, leather, vetiver, rose, iris. Of course, that's just in general; I also like plenty of scents that fall into different categories.

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    I have been thinking about this one--great thread!

    My aesthetic tastes are ecclectic, with a tendency toward refined roughness or naturalness, also known as "Wabi Sabi" in Japanese art and culture.

    In decorating, I combine spare furniture lines, lush rugs and dark woods. Window treatments are very minimal. I love Arts and Crafts fabric patterns (Morris) and Craftsman architecture and furniture (Stickley, Ellis). I have a lot of books, so bookshelves also figure prominently.

    In art, I tend to like very modern, abstract or non-representational work. I also love the masters (Rembrandt, Michelangelo), fine craft objets d'art, antique (i.e. rusty) tools and antique hand-painted pottery/china.

    I tend to gravitate toward classic perfumes which transcend time, and also am most attracted to orientals, ambers, musks and all-natural or home-made scents. However, I have more than my fair share of very modern "cheapies" (I love cheap thrills, so exciting!) and a few other diverse scents.

    As Taolady mentioned, there is something very pleasing about being open to what is available, and so I will at least *try* things which do not fall within my aesthetic. It is always very enjoyable to try something new--it really stretches me and allows me to appreciate new things I might not have otherwise.

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    This is a great thread - it's really got me thinking.
    I do find I surprise myself. I think I'm one way (gothic, Arts and Crafts Victoriana) but then I look around my home and it's not like that (all-white walls, wood floors, mix of modern and antiques but all fairly clean lines and designed for purpose - our sofa is comfortable and yes, there's room on the tables to put a drink down). The same goes for my perfume collection - I've been astonished to find JC Ellena is my 'dream nose', when I thought I was a straight-up oriental voluptuist.
    As far as art goes, I have a soft spot for etchings but I'm not hung up on any particular style. I do like pictures of trees though.
    And I like wood in my home. And leather, linen, cotton, sheepskin, wool...
    Hmm.
    Very thought provoking. I'm going to go and stand in front of my fragrance collection and see if they make me think of art or eras...
    Brilliant thread Seattlelight!
    Last edited by Wordbird; 15th May 2008 at 11:09 AM.
    "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel

    I'm streamlining my collection http://community.basenotes.net/showt...29#post1219729

  17. #17

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Thank you for the responses - I am finding this extremely interesting.

    I wonder if we would generally agree about what fragrances fall under what "aesthetics category"? For example, would Shalimar suggest "Renaissance" or some other such category to most of us?

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    It is interesting to me how texture has figured into some responses. Perhaps perfume is like a texture for the nose?

  19. #19

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Asha - that's what I was wondering as well - olfactory texture but doesn't visually clutter things up.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    I had a drawing class which was based on the book "Drawing from the Artist Within". The gist is that artists don't always draw based on the visual perception (even though that is central to visual art). Exercises were done to engage other senses in the context of drawing. It was interesting to see how each student responded, and how each person's style was primarily based in one of the types of sensing activities.

    I have also wondered about why certain people are more drawn to music versus visual art, for example...or dance. How does each person experience the "art"? I think scent is really just another category in this list of sensory appreciation, so this thread really hits the target for me.

  21. #21

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Great thread!

    I would agree with the "textures for the nose" comment. Given how you interact with senses, and how illumination of a scent may trigger other senses and sense memories ... it definitely could be art and sometimes the most profound.

    Examples:

    I tried Joy Parfum for the first time - and the baroque richness triggered a sense of the room filled with flowers, white flowers crammed into every nook and cranny of the room I was in. Wonderful! Also, CdG Odeur 53 and 71 both gave me a sense of electonics and dusty circuit boards in a dry dry room ...

    All of it has an "art" response in me that I get when at art museums. Hard to explain, really, but thats all how I can explain it.
    Last edited by Bromo33333; 15th May 2008 at 05:53 PM.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    The experience of visualizing while experiencing a scent - that's a gift. That doesn't happen to me and how I wish it would. I just get a "feeling" / an intuition - totally abstract - and I have to struggle to come up with anything concrete; frequently, I just can't relate it to anything concrete.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Very interesting and thought-provoking thread. For me, it seemed at first that there was no relationship - until I realized that (and this is very geeky) I needed to match up whether the fragrance or the art was "input" or "output". For instance, I like to appreciate all kinds of art, from quiet and ancient to loud and modern, and I like to smell all kinds of fragrances on other people. In my own case, however, I feel very strongly in using only fragrances which match my mood. Likewise, in terms of decor, writing, or even personal grooming (all of which are about as far as I go with art), I cannot do what my mood is not giving me at that moment. However, that can vary quite a bit.

    So, surprisingly, the answer is yes, they match, but not in the way I originally thought they might match!

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    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Smile Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Great question & thread discussion.
    I don't want to limit myself to any one style!
    However, there is a cluster of things which hangs together well, and I'm totally pre-disposed to like such things. They still have to be good quality, but the mere fact that they fit in this cluster gets my radar going.
    Mediterranean culture, ancient and modern. Art, history, literature
    Mediterranean cuisine

    So I'm a sucker for Greco-Roman themed fragrances. And anything in a herbal-lemon chypre style (which is how I like to think of such times) is my basic sort of go-to scent.

    "Life is short, art is long, and opportunity is fleeting..." attributed to Hippocrates.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 23rd September 2008 at 03:56 PM.
    odysseusm

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  25. #25

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    My artistic loves are theatre, music of most all syles(not gangsta rap) classical art,cannot stand current mens' fashion?(boring and way too conservative-no style). In architecture, Frank Lloyd Wrights' Usonian period, his protege, Fay Jones, Bauhaus, Craftsman style bungaloes,Post and Beam and Adirondack Log homes. Let's also toss in golf, sailing, the art of a mahogany Chris Craft barrell back, automobile road racing, fine wine, great food. The preference of a Corvette over a BMW, a Jag over an Aston Martin, an FX 50 over a Cayenne, and the most beautiful car ever...the Lamborghini Miura. If you know of a frag or two that will match up, please send word to me, I'd love to know.

  26. #26

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    My artistic loves are theatre, music of most all syles(not gangsta rap) classical art,cannot stand current mens' fashion?(boring and way too conservative-no style). In architecture, Frank Lloyd Wrights' Usonian period, his protege, Fay Jones, Bauhaus, Craftsman style bungaloes,Post and Beam and Adirondack Log homes. Let's also toss in golf, sailing, the art of a mahogany Chris Craft barrell back, automobile road racing, fine wine, great food. The preference of a Corvette over a BMW, a Jag over an Aston Martin, an FX 50 over a Cayenne, and the most beautiful car ever...the Lamborghini Miura. If you know of a frag or two that will match up, please send word to me, I'd love to know. 'Ome is where the 'art is. Willy Richardson, 1973.

  27. #27

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    This is a *really* interesting thread. I'm glad a couple of you brought this back to the surface!

    For me, I think, it's all about balance and harmony of elements. This applies to music, visual art, writing, architecture, and yes -- fragrance. A composition of any kind can be simple or complex, spare or lush, but for it to appeal to me, it has to be put together really well.

    Am I talking about structure vs. content? I don't know. Time for bed!

  28. #28
    Lifelong Sniffaholic
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    An interesting question.

    I am a fan of soliflore fragrances and I love Georgia O'Keeffe's huge flowers! I never saw the connection before.

    Also I love violets fragrances, and collect a variety of vintage teacups and teapots (and related porcelain items) with violets transfers....I have well over 50 at last count so they are a significant decor item for me in kitchen and dining room.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Yes in the sense that I am not restrictive to a single genre. From Bach to Eminem. From Raphael to Pollock. From leau dIssey musk to knize Ten.

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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Yes in the sense that I am not restrictive to a single genre. From Bach to Eminem. From Raphael to Pollock. From leau dIssey musk to knize Ten.

  31. #31

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Oh, this thread is making me wish the contest for best thread on Basenotes was still open!
    Definitely interesting.

    As for myself.. as I'm still exploring my tastes in fragrance, I wouldn't consider this a definitive comparison.
    In architecture, I am drawn to Art Deco building and Amsterdamse School (Berlage), but also innovative modern architecture /and/ Gothic cathedrals. In interior design, I go for light colours and woods, especially cherry wood or rosewood, mixed with silver metals and bright accents or distinctive patterns on walls - Scandavian and Dutch design are my weaknesses: I love the austerity and innovation of many pieces.
    In art, I have a strong preference for figurative painting, with a special interest in neoclassicism (Alma Tadema) and Art Nouveau/Art Déco - Tamara de Lempicka, Toulouse-Lautrec... Apart from that, I love artisanal art: glasswork (Lalique, Daume...), Art Deco furniture, and antique jewelry. My tastes in jewelry run from magpie-esque glittery show pieces to blatantly 80s vibrant coloured plastic to subtle and airy modern silver.
    In music, I'm an omnivore. I love campy Broadway musicals, the Beatles, acid jazz and triphop, soul - vintage and modern, jazz & blues, classic opera, flamenco, reggaeton & dancehall, minimal techno, Dutch pop und so weiter. Literature.. likewise. I wouldn't know where to begin categorizing.

    In fragrance, I tend towards the modern "watercolour sketch" style of JC Ellena and Olivia Giacobetti, eschewing the classic, big, opulent perfumes. On the other hand, I do love spices in perfume, especially ginger. Non-sweet vanillas and ambers go down very well with me, as do incenses.

    So it looks as though I rather "fit": sheer, modern perfumes for my modern taste! Too bad Art-Deco period perfumes aren't exactly right for me, though.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Definitely an interesting thread! It has made me think hard about my
    tastes in architecture/art/music and I have realised that I like clean, lines,
    uncluttered spaces and Georgian architecture, impressionism (in art) and am all over the
    place music-wise (Bach, Faure, Rachmaninov, Bruce Springsteen, Beatles
    and Rutter) it just has to move me. I prefer organ, cello and choral works to
    symphonies and quartets.As regards jewellery, I like simple platinum/white gold rings
    necklaces and bracelets.
    I think my preferences in scent are for Jean-Claude Ellena transparency, Lutens lushness
    and "cerebral" perfumes like Divine and Eau d'Italie. I am full of contradictions!!
    Last edited by kewart; 23rd September 2008 at 05:39 PM.

  33. #33

    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    What a fabulous thread.

    I like the idea that there could be a match, but in my case, it'd have to be a pretty elusive one.

    Let's see. I hadn't realised how typically Finnish I was in certain aspects of my preferences until I'd lived in UK for a good few years. For example: functional items should be primarily well designed for their intended function and aesthetically pleasing as only a secondary priority. The two shouldn't compete and frivolity shouldn't dominate.

    With that realisation out of the way, came another one: I'm perhaps a-typically (for a Finn) attracted to certain frivolity, but in certain areas only. I would happily have a "pointless" scatter cushion with a decorative pattern. I've accumulated a number of very silly things (plastic toys and goodness knows what) over the years and they happily live in my tiny flat along with all the other stuff.

    Mainly, I love bold colours, illustrated patterns and clever things. I enjoy some of the more sombre and even imposing forms in nature, art and architecture. Some of my favourite things are big, oily machines (like old steam engines and tractors), frighteningly old and tall trees and mythical beasts. I'm attracted to whimsy, but get a bit put off by excessive sentimentality.

    What about perfume? Thinking about this topic has made me realise that I don't think of perfume as a functional thing at all. It is about as frivolous as you get. And that means my tastes in perfume are like all the colours in the box and I get to play outside the lines and everything - no restrictions! By frivolity I really do mean "not essential for survival" (which is how I've used the term when mentally trying to build a picture of a typically Finnish attitude. Frivolity = death because it wastes important resources).

    To think that I don't consider perfume essential for survival! Yet I'm obsessed by it. Hah.

    Very nice thread indeed.

  34. #34
    debbborra's Avatar
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    Default Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    This is such an interesting question. I wish I had an answer. I don't know.

  35. #35
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    Smile Re: do your scent preferences match your preferences in art, architecture, etc?

    Maybe places are more evocative of scents than architecture.The Mediterranean evokes the herbal & citrus, the cedar etc. The Africas bring forth the spices,Northern Europe,the pines & fresh water. Each place has its own perfume & these in turn become our memories.I have some fond memories of childhood in the smell of bread, pine needles,damp forest earth and my Grandma smelling of Shocking de Schiaparelli!!

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