Form and fragrance merge in scent sculptures – WWD
PARIS – What happens when the sculptures and the scents mix? Fascinating and innovative four-dimensional creations.
This is one of the main lessons of “Profile By”, an exhibition presented at Phillips in Paris until June 25th. There, six artists were teamed up with six IFF perfumers to design works of art, which were made in limited editions of up to 50 (Prices are on request.)
The project is the brainchild of Diane Thalheimer, perfume expert and art collector.
“From the start, we created some extremely thoughtful duets – in terms of character, personality and the potential bonds that could be created between the two,” she explained.
For example, artist Joana Vasconcelos has teamed up with perfumer Anne Flipo.
“I asked Anne to help me make a scent related to the seven chakras,” Vasconcelos said. “I found the dimension of the smell very spiritual, because it actually diffuses into space and fills it.
“Yet the sculptural side is very physical; it is something that exists in the first dimension. Whereas perfume is something like music, ”she continued. “We are all marked by physicality – by our body – but also by our scent. It is part of our identity.
The artist found the project interesting to work on, not least because it used the reverse process of how she typically envisions her work – imagining sculptures to fill large spaces. At Phillips, his colorful little crochet works, with six protruding branches, called “Lança Perfume” (or “Spear Perfume”), hang from the ceiling in a small makeshift room.
“Here, [the sculpture] is very small but it diffuses scent throughout the space, ”said Vasconcelos.
Flipo said that each chakra corresponds to a series of scent ingredients, and that Vasconcelos chose the most optimistic ones, after visiting the IFF office and reviewing Flipo’s scent notes palette.
“The [fragrance] the formula is not very long – there are 17 ingredients, ”she said, of the fresh incense scent that was created.
Vasconcelos has perfumed each piece of ceramic covered with hook.
“Now I have the impression that I will put perfume in all the sculptures”, she exclaims.
When Thalheimer approached Hubert Le Gall for their “Profile By” project, he thought of a subject that obsessed him: mythology.
“I liked the idea of a vase, an object that contains the scent,” said Le Gall. “I wanted to make Dionysus’ perfume. Dionysus is most like me – I’m talking about loving life, dancing, excess, earthly pleasures, ”he said. “I call it ‘The Heart of Dionysus’.”
The artist gestured towards a cracked vase with two branch-like shapes on either side. These could be interpreted in several ways – like two aortas leaving a heart, a bull’s head with horns or the comedy of life (the growing side of green bulbs) and tragedy (the side cut short), for example. .
Le Gall told perfumer Jean-Christophe Hérault that he wanted a carnal scent.
“I didn’t want something floral, delicate. I wanted something that was about all of this… of an uninhibited god, ”said Le Gall.
“I love history and antiquity, it’s a period that I find extremely rich,” says Hérault, who remembers Seneca’s “Letters from a Stoic”. From there, he was guided in the creation of the perfume by the duality of stoicism and excess.
“I used aromatic essences that could have been found in Antiquity in different forms,” he said, citing in particular myrtle, myrrh, marjoram, oregano, mint and thyme. “It is something extremely sensual.”
“Aromatic and sexual,” adds Le Galle, whose vase contains the scented ceramic ball.
Another work was created by artist Pablo Reinoso and perfumer Domitille Michalon-Bertier, who have known each other for over 15 years. Before joining the “Profile By” project, Michalon-Bertier visited Reinoso’s workshop. Then they started to smell the raw ingredients.
Reinoso had in mind a masculine scent, with horizontal distribution, which IFF had formulated but never marketed. From there, Reinoso and Michalon-Berier imagined a luminous woody scent.
Reinoso said it was complicated to incorporate scented ceramics into his chestnut wood sculpture, called “Rocking Me”.
“It was this idea of continuity that got me thinking of this serpentine space,” said Reinoso, who wanted the artwork to be able to move slightly, capturing the idea of movement of someone wearing and gives off the smell of perfume. “Technically it sounds simple, but it’s very, very difficult to do this piece because there are three circles touching the ground.
Perfumer Nicolas Beaulieu worked with sculptor Daniel Firman on a project involving realistic bronze hands holding a scented ceramic ball, called “Seizing the Impossible (the escaped)”.
“I thought this idea was extremely poetic,” Beaulieu said, adding not only the idea about the ephemeral nature of perfume, but also the uncontrollable nature of fate.
He and Firman chose to work with the notion of a material that does not exist in perfumery – burnt wood which is cold. They started by using citrus oil to express green wood, a note of flint and an accord of vetiver, cashmere and oak wood absolute, and a note of sandalwood from New Caledonia.
“There is something very addicting,” Beaulieu said of the envoy.
Nearby was the creation of perfumer Juliette Karagueuzoglou and artist Ori Gersht, titled “Never Ending Journeys 01, 02, 03”. It includes a white flower, woody scent.
Images of flowers feature in this work of art, presented around the circular base which is reflected in a mirrored cylinder. The scented ceramic takes the form of a round globe placed on it.
“Her favorite flower is the Virgin’s lily, so I started with that,” Karagueuzolglou said, speaking of Gersht.
Perfumer Paul Guerlain joined forces with artist Adel Abdessemed on a sculpture resembling a woman’s foot with his heel on a ball.
“He spoke of Nice, of sand, of air, of wood and of fire,” said Guerlain, who composed olfactory accords accordingly for an oriental scent of rose that perfumes the work “Noli me tangere” (or “Touch Me Not”). “It was really interesting working with someone from another universe, who expresses themselves differently and gets to this.”
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