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  1. #1

    Default Questions about desires and associations

    While browsing on http://editionsdeparfums.com and ordering samples of En Passant (thank you all basenoters for leading me to this one), MR and Carnal Flower, I came across their questionnaire and filled it in with enthusiasm. Those forms where you are supposed to define yourself in just a few words always puts a childish challenge in me. It raised a few questions as well.
    Are there links between, for example, our way of dressing and our taste in fragrances?
    Has our taste in music or other art forms anything to do with what scents we might love?
    Could all our desires be linked togheter?
    Is this why some professionals claim to be able to tell what fits you by looking at you, or getting to know some of your interests?


    The answer is to me always both yes and no. The power of association must be acknowledged and it's a very used tool. Let's make it simple and presume that you enjoy impressionistic painting. What comes to mind could be flowers, gardens, blurry coloring, the naturalistic captures of the moment and maybe even a powedery sensation. Would it be fair to say that this kind of person would enjoy scents that share similar characteristics? Could be.



    I find it harder with music, since it is the only form of art that to me is (by necessity) totally abstract. I wouldn't know what to make of a piece before I have listened to it, therefor I find it tough to relate it to antyhing beforehand.
    Do any of you relate certain music to certain scents, and why?

    Fragrances are of course not as hard to relate.

    Ultimately and in all honesty, as much as we like to say that we are unaffected by others, rarely we are. And I wouldn't say that there is anything wrong with that. Harmony and balance comes with awareness, despite what we get to be aware of.
    Last edited by Noalick; 11th January 2009 at 10:44 PM.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

  2. #2

    Default

    Off-topic, but here are some music recommendations I think you might like:
    Ides of Space, Kings of Convenience, Magnet, The Notwist, Low

    If you're looking for a Radiohead-esque indie-electronic with some classical baroque influence -- check out The Notwist's "Neon Golden" album -- if you can't find it.. drop me a PM..

    Getting back on topic for fragrances... try:
    L'artisan's Tea for Two -- I am a big fan of tea as well -- and I think you're in for a treat. Smoky lapsang tea with a hint of honey and a pinch of cinnamon.

    Gucci Pour Homme II -- There's black tea in there... can be thought of as a "Tea for Two Fraiche."

    YSL M7 Fresh -- Great for introducing yourself to the note of "oud" in a friendly fruity way. A very versatile scent that is both intelligent and interesting.
    Last edited by moltening; 4th August 2008 at 01:52 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    I'd say definitely anything chypre like a transposition of non trivial, exposed elegance, mystery and celebral refinement.
    So ok to everyhting in the cathegory from Chanel Pour Monsieur, to Guerlain Mitsouko or Sous le vent, from Roma Uomo to Bandit, crossing genders and ages (many chypres are in fact worn by both men and women and considered pretty unisex)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Moltening: I'm looking into the music on youtube as I write. Cheers! I'll PM you if I find it. By the way, Tea for Two is on my wish list, so your thinking was absolutely right and the other two are currently being investigated by me.

    I'm still a bit taken by surprise here while reading Magnifiscents post. You actually sum my taste up pretty well. Mitsouko is timeless and Roma Oumo is greatly underestimated as far as I've read. Bought a bottle of it last week actually.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

  5. #5

    Wink Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Oh, you know, music is SO not abstract to me. Perhaps that's because I'm a musician.

    I feel like music and perfumery are closer than, say, painting and perfumery, because music and perfumery are both arts that work with time. A fragrance on your skin is like an unfolding piece of music. Part of what makes both art forms work is how they develop and move forward in time.

    In Japanese, the verb 'ikku' means to listen, but it's also the verb for smelling things. There's a Japanese brand of incense called "LISN-MUSIC" and all the incense names have to do with music: Swing Her Heart, Sound on Wave, Catch Her Beat, and Hit My Soul. (They all smell terrific by the way, my favorite being "Catch Her Beat".)

    http://www.capricornslair.com/jappresinsti10.html

    And in English we're always talking about "notes" in perfumes, as well as chords/accords.

    I think about perfumes as music analogies all the time. I've said before that Andy Tauer's l'Air du Desert Marocain is like a Sibelius tone poem. Encre Noire is like an invigorating guitar dance from Buena Vista Social Club. Britney Spears' fragrances are just like her music, tacky synthetic trash that took less time to compose than the actual three and a half minutes that the song lasts. Jicky is Edith Piaf on a scratchy record, warbling "Non, rien de rien, non, je ne regrrrrrette rieeeennnnn..."

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    I think this is an awesome thread, by the way.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Impressionist/water color - Kenzo, Issey Miyaki
    Abstract art - CdG
    Fresco - Creed
    Small portrait - L'Artisan
    Expressionist - YSL

    I think in music, people who enjoy pieces written in minor key tends to go for oriental perfume. Major key pieces are summer fragrances.

    Although my preference for the arts may persuade me to select certain scent - it is not really practical when it comes to real life. I may like certain scents but they are too "weird" to use daily and I reserve it for my own private enjoyment. To me Chopin is like L'Artisan, Mahler's symphony is equivalent of Creed however - Chanel and Armani is the soundtrack of my life.

    Blasphemy to some:

    Most people who are not into perfume will not appreciate the niche - I keep those for my own personal enjoyment.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Rex, Esq. View Post
    Oh, you know, music is SO not abstract to me. Perhaps that's because I'm a musician.

    I feel like music and perfumery are closer than, say, painting and perfumery, because music and perfumery are both arts that work with time. A fragrance on your skin is like an unfolding piece of music. Part of what makes both art forms work is how they develop and move forward in time.

    In Japanese, the verb 'ikku' means to listen, but it's also the verb for smelling things. There's a Japanese brand of incense called "LISN-MUSIC" and all the incense names have to do with music: Swing Her Heart, Sound on Wave, Catch Her Beat, and Hit My Soul. (They all smell terrific by the way, my favorite being "Catch Her Beat".)

    http://www.capricornslair.com/jappresinsti10.html

    And in English we're always talking about "notes" in perfumes, as well as chords/accords.

    I think about perfumes as music analogies all the time. I've said before that Andy Tauer's l'Air du Desert Marocain is like a Sibelius tone poem. Encre Noire is like an invigorating guitar dance from Buena Vista Social Club. Britney Spears' fragrances are just like her music, tacky synthetic trash that took less time to compose than the actual three and a half minutes that the song lasts. Jicky is Edith Piaf on a scratchy record, warbling "Non, rien de rien, non, je ne regrrrrrette rieeeennnnn..."

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    I think this is an awesome thread, by the way.
    Don't get me wrong. I am also able to think in music/perfume analogies and I find all of your associations really interesting. That's the wonder of art really - the way it opens up your mind and imagination. However, I still belive that music is the most concrete form of art and, I repeat myself, in necessity abstract. The listener stands completly naked until the music reaches her and a picture or feeling slowly takes shape. If we instead would be watching a painting of a sunset or a meadow, it couldn't really represent anything else even if "it" wanted to. Music has that ability. I too am a musician, by the way.

    I've yet to smell l'Air du Desert Marocain, but I sincerly hope that it will be "better" than Sibelius. Is it too much to hope for Bolero converted to a fragrance? Ohh imagine that drydown.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

  8. #8

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by eau_de_amour View Post
    Impressionist/water color - Kenzo, Issey Miyaki
    Abstract art - CdG
    Fresco - Creed
    Small portrait - L'Artisan
    Expressionist - YSL

    I think in music, people who enjoy pieces written in minor key tends to go for oriental perfume. Major key pieces are summer fragrances.

    Although my preference for the arts may persuade me to select certain scent - it is not really practical when it comes to real life. I may like certain scents but they are too "weird" to use daily and I reserve it for my own private enjoyment. To me Chopin is like L'Artisan, Mahler's symphony is equivalent of Creed however - Chanel and Armani is the soundtrack of my life.

    Blasphemy to some:

    Most people who are not into perfume will not appreciate the niche - I keep those for my own personal enjoyment.
    I love the way you are thinking. To take it one step further; to me the pentatonic scale, known to many as asian scale (like if you only play the black keys on the piano), has a very unisex feel over it. Beautiful and complex only in it's own subtle way and depending on how you play the chords. Not minor feeling, still able to express melancholy. Not an all major atmosphere, yet warm and smiling. Look into film music by Joe Hisaishi (Spritied Away, Princess Monoke). I think Mitsouko and Eau de Cartier are good fits here.

    Somewhat more complex, but still capturing what I am trying to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mfyCI82lWM
    Last edited by Noalick; 4th August 2008 at 04:26 PM.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

  9. #9

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Speaking of music - perfume analogies. Does anyone else use to make these associations, and which would they be? I find it more interesting the more I think about it.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

  10. #10

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by Noalick View Post
    Somewhat more complex, but still capturing what I am trying to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mfyCI82lWM
    A Caron, definitely !
    Nuit de Noël, Narcisse Noir or Tabac Blond.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by Noalick View Post
    Speaking of music - perfume analogies. Does anyone else use to make these associations, and which would they be? I find it more interesting the more I think about it.
    I suggest you read Luca Turin. Music is his favorite tool to describe perfumes, their weight, their mood and 'colors' if you will.

    There are no ways to describe new phenomena other than by comparison to something we are already familiar with. I believe using sound, color, feel or temperature to describe smells can only work via emotions. The color blue talks to our eyes, not to our nose (according to current knowledge). But the color impression creates various emotions, from mild and simple to strong and complex. Certain blues mean peace and night, others create happiness or inspire us to do something. All we have to do is find the music (the sound, the instrument) which (for us, not necessarily for everybody) supports specific color impressions.

    It's by experience that I (gardener) relate various reds, a yellow and some pink when it comes to the smell of roses. And you may know the instruments and sounds in Rosenkavalier when he (Count Lerchenau?) hands the symbolic rose to Sophie. Ethereal and perfect but neither red nor pink, but sparkling silver, because that's what this rose actually is made of. You even hear the smell impression when Sophie sniffs at it - a musical hold. Sophie is at that moment both - absorbed by the smell of the Persian rose oil, and overwhelmed by feelings created by the foreign gentleman smiling at her. And Strauss' genius just knew how to express that in music.

    All composers knew about the effects of music on our souls, and Wagner made full use of it. Flying Dutchmann, Tristan, Ring der Nibelungen - the whole of the twentieth century film music has its roots there. It's obvious right from the first films which had no sound: the movie houses had engaged skilled pianists who translated drama, farce, suspense and passion into that piano, as a few documents convincingly show.

    The most convincing perfume-music match I ever discovered: Fado singing and Vol de Nuit. Only pulsing rythm and nice fragrances don't really belong to each other, I find. And it's the mood only in a Mendelssohn Lied (oW) that I find in Silver Mountain water. But I imagine some phrase from Debussy could be just as suitable. Classic Eau de Cologne: why not a Mozart Menuetto. But Guerlains Coriolan is a number too small to meet Beethoven's visions .

    That's just me saying the link between the various sensual impressions is emotion. Different people may have totally different emotions evoked by sound, vision, smells, or what your skin sensors report to the brain. On the other hand - try and test it: listen to the sound tracks of a TV movie from the next room. I bet you'll know blind if it's about love or crime.
    Voleur de Roses is anything but crime, maybe again Strauss: September or Abendrot - both are melancholic enough. I think fragrance and art have a many : many relationship.
    Perhaps that's why, Noalick, your fine quote from Youtube left me undecided, and I couldn't tune in to anythjing suggested before.
    Last edited by narcus; 5th August 2008 at 11:42 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by Noalick View Post
    I love the way you are thinking. To take it one step further; to me the pentatonic scale, known to many as asian scale (like if you only play the black keys on the piano), has a very unisex feel over it. Beautiful and complex only in it's own subtle way and depending on how you play the chords. Not minor feeling, still able to express melancholy. Not an all major atmosphere, yet warm and smiling. Look into film music by Joe Hisaishi (Spritied Away, Princess Monoke). I think Mitsouko and Eau de Cartier are good fits here.

    Somewhat more complex, but still capturing what I am trying to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mfyCI82lWM
    Interesting. I'm a musician also, and I'll never forget the day I first smelled Gucci Envy for Men. It smelled like the black keys on the piano sound-- and maybe just a little like the inside of a piano itself. Perhaps it was a perfect correlation between the idea of an "oriental" fragrance, and the pentatonic scale being associated broadly with Oriental themes in music.

    Also, both Versace's Dreamer and Lagerfeld's Jako remind me of the Lydian mode. Sure, it's associated with "dreamy" suspense in music, and so maybe the Dreamer is aptly named, but I do get a primal association between the two.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    More music/perfume analogies?

    As you are probably aware that most perfume has a pyramid structure - top, heart and base notes. These notes form a triad - the simplest chord in musical terms. When a perfume changes on your skin, it is called "modulation" in music. A composer is judge by how good they are in modulating between different keys and therefore - a perfumer is judge by their technical skill in that shift from top to heart and bottom notes as well. If the modulation is not smooth and done properly, there will be a disruption in harmony, as you can tell from some perfume - crashing notes that produce distortion.

    The notes from the top, heart and base are constantly evolving - they changed on your skin. When the notes are revealing themselves, it's almost contrapuntal - all voices singing at once. The perfumer is like a composer who has to take extreme care in making sure the harmony is worked out and to know which 'notes' to accentuate and which one to subdue.

    Most of us lament the fact that many perfume smells the same, we called it variations - like Bach's Goldberg variation, it's all based on the same theme. The same perfume can be expressed in many different form - sports, aquatic, black, white, oriental, etc. They are like a piece of music , transposed for the piano or expanded for the full symphony or even condensed into a pop tune.

    According to quantum physics, all particles can behave like waves (including light) - so even molecules or colours can be wave-like. It wouldn't surprise me to see perfume, colours, and music (sound) having a connection.

    It's funny that you mentioned the pentatonic scale - yes by playing only the 5 black keys you get the pentatonic, and by playing only the 7 white keys you get a C majar scale (diatonic). So you see, the east and the west are separated into 2 colours on the keyboard, but music would be boring if we only use a single colour key - by using all 12 keys we can create beautiful music!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    I[...]And you may know the instruments and sounds in Rosenkavalier when he (Count Lerchenau?) hands the symbolic rose to Sophie.
    It's Octavian. A mezzo soprano incorporating a male character - now that's what I call unisex.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by eau_de_amour View Post
    It's funny that you mentioned the pentatonic scale - yes by playing only the 5 black keys you get the pentatonic, and by playing only the 7 white keys you get a C majar scale (diatonic). So you see, the east and the west are separated into 2 colours on the keyboard, but music would be boring if we only use a single colour key - by using all 12 keys we can create beautiful music!
    For a while there you had me thinking of Schoenberg and atonal music in the same sentence as "beautiful music". To me, the twelve-tone technique is quite horrid. I appreciate your way of seeing music and perfume as a whole and not two exclusive things. The variations that you are talking about is something that connects music and the art of perfumery even more.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

  16. #16

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    not long ago i had the same questions as you did so i went to the library to check it out. i glanced over luca turin's work and did not think it satisfied what i was looking for. instead i found a great book called The Scent of Desire by Rachael Hertz which combines psychology and scent to describe our incredible olfactory experience. i believe this book will better suit you because all the questions that you asked stem from the mind, which also rationalizes olfactory experiences.

    Are there links between, for example, our way of dressing and our taste in fragrances?
    Has our taste in music or other art forms anything to do with what scents we might love?
    Could all our desires be linked togheter?
    Is this why some professionals claim to be able to tell what fits you by looking at you, or getting to know some of your interests?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    I suggest you read Luca Turin. Music is his favorite tool to describe perfumes, their weight, their mood and 'colors' if you will.

    There are no ways to describe new phenomena other than by comparison to something we are already familiar with. I believe using sound, color, feel or temperature to describe smells can only work via emotions. The color blue talks to our eyes, not to our nose (according to current knowledge). But the color impression creates various emotions, from mild and simple to strong and complex. Certain blues mean peace and night, others create happiness or inspire us to do something. All we have to do is find the music (the sound, the instrument) which (for us, not necessarily for everybody) supports specific color impressions.

    It's by experience that I (gardener) relate various reds, a yellow and some pink when it comes to the smell of roses. And you may know the instruments and sounds in Rosenkavalier when he (Count Lerchenau?) hands the symbolic rose to Sophie. Ethereal and perfect but neither red nor pink, but sparkling silver, because that's what this rose actually is made of. You even hear the smell impression when Sophie sniffs at it - a musical hold. Sophie is at that moment both - absorbed by the smell of the Persian rose oil, and overwhelmed by feelings created by the foreign gentleman smiling at her. And Strauss' genius just knew how to express that in music.

    All composers knew about the effects of music on our souls, and Wagner made full use of it. Flying Dutchmann, Tristan, Ring der Nibelungen - the whole of the twentieth century film music has its roots there. It's obvious right from the first films which had no sound: the movie houses had engaged skilled pianists who translated drama, farce, suspense and passion into that piano, as a few documents convincingly show.

    The most convincing perfume-music match I ever discovered: Fado singing and Vol de Nuit. Only pulsing rythm and nice fragrances don't really belong to each other, I find. And it's the mood only in a Mendelssohn Lied (oW) that I find in Silver Mountain water. But I imagine some phrase from Debussy could be just as suitable. Classic Eau de Cologne: why not a Mozart Menuetto. But Guerlains Coriolan is a number too small to meet Beethoven's visions .

    That's just me saying the link between the various sensual impressions is emotion. Different people may have totally different emotions evoked by sound, vision, smells, or what your skin sensors report to the brain. On the other hand - try and test it: listen to the sound tracks of a TV movie from the next room. I bet you'll know blind if it's about love or crime.
    Voleur de Roses is anything but crime, maybe again Strauss: September or Abendrot - both are melancholic enough. I think fragrance and art have a many : many relationship.
    Perhaps that's why, Noalick, your fine quote from Youtube left me undecided, and I couldn't tune in to anythjing suggested before.
    I'm humbled by all the beautiful responses.

    You put a word on things that I have been thinking for myself the past years, and I am finally glad to have found a forum with like-minded people. At this point I feel that I am far more experienced in classical music than in the world of perfumes, putting my own analogies on paus for further investigation.

    A funny story though, regarding Debussy, whos music has always felt like home to me. One morning I sprayed myself with Opium EDT, a fragrance that I still don't know whether to love or hate, and sat down in front of the piano and started to play the prelude from Suite Bergamasque. Suddenly all my emotions felt like mish-mash and I had to stop abrubt. Puzzled at first by what was going on I soon came to realise that it was the perfume that was messing everything up. Something was telling me that this scent and this piece of music just didn't go hand in hand. I have been thinking a lot about what it was about me and my associations that caused this without finding an answer.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

  18. #18

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by Noalick View Post
    For a while there you had me thinking of Schoenberg and atonal music in the same sentence as "beautiful music". To me, the twelve-tone technique is quite horrid. I appreciate your way of seeing music and perfume as a whole and not two exclusive things. The variations that you are talking about is something that connects music and the art of perfumery even more.
    No, I'm actually referring to bold harmonies using chromatic notes. Post-romantic and impressionist composers are well versed in the art of using chromatic notes in their pieces as compared to classical era where chromatic notes are jarring to their ears. Interestingly, baroque music is more chromatic even though it's older.

    Just imagine: playing a piece written in C Major that avoids any chromatic keys (black), it would be boring!

    Most atonal music are horrible, but I come to appreciate some of them lately.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    As always, I will be the unromantic basenoter.

    That you relate your lifestyle and particular situations to whatever you wear: yes. We human beings are much simpler than what we deceptively believe. Even those that like chaos, anarchy and rebellion seek follow a set of patterns which are, if not predictable, organized under our archetypes, paradigms and schemes.
    Paradigms. I love that word.

    For a musician, perfumes and music are related. Personally I do not see much connection, most of their similarities rely on semantics, perception and cognition (Remember Luca Turin and its vibration theory?), not in the most basic essence of Music and perfumes. Music is dynamic and progresive and to me perfume is just progresive.

    Contrary to the most of BNers, it is difficult for me to see perfumery as a form of art. Does it have an artistic intention? maybe, but the printed circuit boards I make also have an artistic intention. Still, they are not art. Does it have genres and historical periods of change? yes but so do cars and fashion.

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    As always, I will be the unromantic basenoter.


    Contrary to the most of BNers, it is difficult for me to see perfumery as a form of art. Does it have an artistic intention? maybe, but the printed circuit boards I make also have an artistic intention. Still, they are not art. Does it have genres and historical periods of change? yes but so do cars and fashion.
    I guess it's how you define 'art', isn't it? I have no doubt that a certain artistry goes into your work, just as there is a certain artistry to the legal documents, or arguments, I develop.

    I'm no musician, so the rest of the thread is sort of over my head

  21. #21

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    I guess it's how you define 'art', isn't it? I have no doubt that a certain artistry goes into your work, just as there is a certain artistry to the legal documents, or arguments, I develop.

    I'm no musician, so the rest of the thread is sort of over my head
    I am no musician either, I can't draw or paint, and my fashion sense is Brooks Brothers and J.Crew. Not good I know, and as a configuration lead with SAP software, I will say, my work is not artistic either.
    Maybe that is why I am attracted to collecting and appreciating art, fragrance, and music...it fills the void in my soul that I cannot myself provide. I don't know...I need another Diet Mountain Dew.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Well, is perfumery an art? I posted to my blog on this question as it relates to the notion of aesthetics. You can find it at this link.

    Music is a wonderful thing, one which I love greatly, though being a singer, it is vocal music I know and love best. In one of my blog posts, I compare perfumery to the visual, plastic, and musical arts. Here's one paragraph dealing a bit with music:

    The aesthetic issue about scent for me is how the appreciation of it draws me out of and even beyond myself. Scent is in some mysterious way the most sublime of the fine arts. Perhaps this is even because it marries the deepest-buried human-animal perception [the sense of smell] and our impulse to the most rarefied and ungraspable notion of beauty. The utilitarian and social, even intellectual aspects of interest in scent pale by comparison to the pure aesthetic enjoyment of it. The development of a refined taste in scent is an exercise in the exploration of aesthetic sensibility on a plane beyond the visual and plastic arts. The Golden Mean and the Fibonacci series seem to underlie a natural aesthetic of the eye; but what accounts for the structure of an aesthetical basis for the perception of scent? Is there any mathematical formula that can unlock our understanding of it? Even music can be understood in terms of consonances and cadences based on mathematical relations of tonal proportions -- ratios of vibrations in cycles per second; durations in time that form the basis of rhythm and tempo. These are far better known than the principles that underlie the appreciation of scent. How do we wrap our minds around some of these issues? [Emphasis added.]
    Yr good bud,

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    What an interesting and intellectual thread - some great responses.

    I never played music, but I was a very good DJ years ago and I love and collect music. I never have created a fragrance (or wanted to), however I love and collect fragrances too.

    I see many direct correlations to the two all of the time. I will never quite forget the first time I saw the show 'Wicked'. I was wearing Bois d'Armenie by Guerlain and the music from the show and the scent will always be tied together in my mind. I don't necessarily like these two better because of the association, but in my mind the association is stronger.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    I guess it's how you define 'art', isn't it? I have no doubt that a certain artistry goes into your work, just as there is a certain artistry to the legal documents, or arguments, I develop.

    I'm no musician, so the rest of the thread is sort of over my head
    Exactly. But the thing is nowadays everything is considered to be artistic, from porn to software development. Just google "the art of" and you'll see the laughable and ridiculous. However, having the title of art or not, should not affect the intrinsic value of an object or action. Unfortunately, for many people it does. That is why Malle fragrances have the price tag they carry, but that is not the point of this thread.

    What I wanted to say is that:
    Depending on your scheme, paradigm, mindset, etc. someone has will choose to wear certain EDTs or not. Also, he will describe the edts using that model as a reference.

    We can draw as many metaphors between music and perfumery. We can borrow as many terms from one craft to explain the other. We can marvel at how they are able indulge the senses, cultivate the soul and whatnot.
    But in the end, the execution, delivery method, function, intention and the way we appreciate the two is very different.

    The funny thing is that for 95% of the population, perfumes are just a cosmetic. We are a rare breed. As for me, I really do not care. If it squeezes my gut in a good way I will wear it.
    Last edited by irish; 5th August 2008 at 07:18 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Fortunately, one doesn't have to have a special education in music and know anything about perfumes. As irish says, I am convinced that the links are mainly felt by our or 'souls' (guts squeezed) Or, more technically expressed: simply trust your brain cells and their interconnections. No matter whether we understand those or not, they seem to be doing the right things mostly. A love for music and perfume helps of course. But whether perfumes are regarded as pieces of art or not is completely irrelevant. The observation that perfumes (just like music) can create emotions, and that we react differently to various smells and tunes will suffice.
    Quote Originally Posted by DesGrieux View Post
    It's Octavian. A mezzo soprano incorporating a male character - now that's what I call unisex.
    Ok - Ocatvian, "the young man from a noble house" (the 'Romeo' of this plot) and Lerchenau, the groom to be (Count Paris / Wessex in Shakespeare' s plot/ Sh. in Love) . It's just the music which matters here. I listened to it I wrote that comment yesterday, and I find it more involved than I had remembered. Octavian has his own associations right there: 'rose', for him, mainly the color of Sophie's lips !

    Examples communicate better than theories:

    - For piano players: "You prefer the solid-chocolate sound of Rubinstein playing Chopin’s Nocturnes ? Shalimar (regular or lite) or Coty’s Emeraude, if you can still find it on the Web. For less peace and a lot more heartbreak, as in Schumann’s Arabesque, Serge Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist is unsurpassed. " [by Luca Turin, more here]

    - If you know a little about Mozart, or ABBA:
    "...What survives of the boy genius ? (Mozart) Among other things, a reliance on the fifth, the handspan interval at the core of what we call Classical music.
    Suppose now that the fifth is a preexisting, mathematically satisfying proportion. Then those who believe, as I do, that we smell the vibrations of molecules are faced with an interesting question: are there similar rules of molecular harmony, i.e. chords that sound good to our nose ? The consonant octave can be ruled out: smells do not repeat themselves when the frequency is doubled. But the fifth is another matter. I recently had a brain scan that revealed no major anomalies, yet it has always seemed self-evident to me that Mozart’s lighter music was fruity, and conversely that fruit, especially fruit salads, had a Mozartian character. " [by Luca Turin, more here] - Mozart is certainly NOT fruits to me!! Some of my own associations between smell and music are rather rudimentary: the smell of shellac (oldtime, all natural furniture polish) and Haendel's gruesome Largo, or those pieces for 'Anna Magdalena Bach' are a childhood nightmare I cannot get rid of. Certain Violin romances: the smell of collophonium..... Lavender and Van Dyck, just because there is a paint thinner that uses L. - But as I said before: this is not a 1:1, but 1: many relationship. I also wear lavenders, have it in the garden, find it soothing, and it helps me to find sleep.
    Last edited by narcus; 6th August 2008 at 10:27 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    By error, I am sorry folks.
    A few months ago one could quickly delete ones own unwanted posts, or merge two into one. I have no idea how to do that now
    Last edited by narcus; 6th August 2008 at 10:27 AM. Reason: by error
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by Noalick View Post
    ... Suddenly all my emotions felt like mish-mash and I had to stop abrubt. Puzzled at first by what was going on I soon came to realise that it was the perfume that was messing everything up. Something was telling me that this scent and this piece of music just didn't go hand in hand. I have been thinking a lot about what it was about me and my associations that caused this without finding an answer.
    Very interesting. I have had similar experiences where 'whatever' and my scent clashed badly, and to avoid unwanted and lasting impressions of this nature, I rather wear a 'neutral' fragrance to a concert, or nothing if I cannot be certain that both will harmonize.
    A little out of context, but knowing about the danger of unerasable scent impressions: I try to avoid wearing my holy grails when meeting new people to protect their sanctity.
    Last edited by narcus; 6th August 2008 at 10:30 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Thanks for a thought provoking thread! I'm fond of many kinds of music - even went to a Gentle Giant concert at the Uptown Theatre a looooong time ago in Chicago. Like 'the above', I've collected a variety of music - (from Handel to norwegian Black Metal). A few years back, I was into collecting artbooks - mostly of the post-impressionists. The painting you posted reminded me of a "Bonnard" ... would love to know who that artist was!!

    Relating it all to fragrances, I find the connection between fragrances and music hard to make. To me, fragrances are more about physical places and objects / people / animals. So its easier to relate a fragrance to, say, a garden, then to a piece of music. (I've been doing quite a bit of gardening this summer over here in Norway) Similarly, it is easier to relate a fragrance to a painting (like the one you posted).

    I tend to gravitate to fragrance houses which offer fragrances that evoke the imagery of places such as gardens, forrests, wood, -- so Frederic Malle, Serge Lutens, & L'Artisan Parfumeur have been favorites.

    The first time I sampled FM Carnal Flower, I felt somehow transported to a different time and place - an austere garden far away. FM Vetiver Extraordinaire reminds me or a mossy scandinavian evergreen forrest!
    En Passant evokes a spring garden. You must also try FM Lys Mediterranee & Un Fleur de Cassie if you haven't!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    For me any act of creativity is art. The perfume creation process is art but when it is marketed to the mass - it becomes a commercial luxury item. There goes without saying that - some people chose niche perfume because those companies don't advertise and appear less commercial and therefore seems more like artwork. Just my 2 cents.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Questions about desires and associations

    Quote Originally Posted by scentsual View Post
    Thanks for a thought provoking thread! I'm fond of many kinds of music - even went to a Gentle Giant concert at the Uptown Theatre a looooong time ago in Chicago. Like 'the above', I've collected a variety of music - (from Handel to norwegian Black Metal). A few years back, I was into collecting artbooks - mostly of the post-impressionists. The painting you posted reminded me of a "Bonnard" ... would love to know who that artist was!!

    Relating it all to fragrances, I find the connection between fragrances and music hard to make. To me, fragrances are more about physical places and objects / people / animals. So its easier to relate a fragrance to, say, a garden, then to a piece of music. (I've been doing quite a bit of gardening this summer over here in Norway) Similarly, it is easier to relate a fragrance to a painting (like the one you posted).

    I tend to gravitate to fragrance houses which offer fragrances that evoke the imagery of places such as gardens, forrests, wood, -- so Frederic Malle, Serge Lutens, & L'Artisan Parfumeur have been favorites.

    The first time I sampled FM Carnal Flower, I felt somehow transported to a different time and place - an austere garden far away. FM Vetiver Extraordinaire reminds me or a mossy scandinavian evergreen forrest!
    En Passant evokes a spring garden. You must also try FM Lys Mediterranee & Un Fleur de Cassie if you haven't!
    His name is Otakar Lebeda and his painting is named "Lilac". The main reason I posted it was because of the connection with En Passant.



    I think that our tendency to relate scents to music, pantings, gardens etc varies naturally depending on what we are most educated in. I also belive that the main reason for the big debate about what art really is, what it should and should not be, has it roots there. I had a chat with my hairdresser about art and she was eager to mention that she considered her job as a part of the artistic field. I wouldn't argue against that.

    ---

    While waiting for the samples from Frederic Malle I went out to test Gucci Pour Homme II - The spicy opening intruiged me and I could almost instantly tell that there was tea hidden somewhere. After about twenty minutes on my skin I narrowed it down to what to me smells like Lipton Citrus Tea with a lot of honey and a hint of cinnamon. I didn't get any violet, why I suppose the violet take here is something completly different in opposite to let's say Eau de Cartier or even Fahrenheit. All in all a very nice scent and I love the tea, but the colours didn't match me. I will really miss the tea-note though, why I hope Tea for Two will be more up my alley.

    Edit: I must add that Bvlgari Black carries the most pleasant black tea-note to me. I had to take it out and spray on my left wrist (GPHII still on my right) and while comparing the two I suddenly got motherly feelings towards GPHII. Oh dear.
    Last edited by Noalick; 6th August 2008 at 11:31 PM.
    "- Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

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