Archive for May, 2011

"How Deep is the Ocean?", 2009, Multi-Media on Canvas, DSH

This post has obviously taken me a LONG time to get to. But as promised back in September of 2010, here’s “Quintessence :: part 3”. By this time it’s actually not much about the Quintessence: Multi-sensory show. It’s more about the fascinating experience of children and scent / fragrant art-form with a few more images from the show that I may not have shared. It’s also in response to the fact that many people have commented on and were attracted to one particular notation on my “Best of 2010” list, which was my ‘best fragrant experience of 2010: children coming to smell smells at the Studio’. It really is pure joy to share this world with the little ones and see their faces light up. They seem, even more than adults, to come openly to their experience and allow themselves to fall in love with scent. They are NOT afraid to feel whatever it is that the scent inspires them to. It’s so refreshing and reminds me that every day is still new at this stage in life and I just can’t let myself be jaded. Children will show you that and I am grateful for their effortless teaching.

Zyan smells "Elemental Fire: Vermillion" at Quintessence 8.2010

I’d like to introduce Zyan Schultz-Williams, who is seen above smelling some of the ‘aroma sculptures’ at the Quintessence: Multi-Sensory show* last August. She was only about 13 months old but was already at least 6 months into her beginning scent training with me at the studio. (Of course, she is only smelling naturals). She is my young protégé and part of the fun we have together is smelling smells. Even more than just smelling we have been assigning ‘who’ smells like ‘what’ as well as what the scents actually are. Now there is a “Mommy” bottle that smells like the perfume her mom, Mary, wears (Aqua Admirabilis) and a “Daddy” bottle, too (aka Vetiver essential oil). These are the two bottles she usually wants to smell first and get’s the most comfort from but she also loves to smell peppermint, blood orange and vanilla with a huge snort and a proclamation: “woweee” or just ” AHHHHHHHHH”. I just can’t describe the sheer delight she takes in sniffing, grinning and emoting. I think everyone should share smelling smells with a child. Oh yeah, and did I mention that she figured out how to spray a bottle by pushing the nozzle against her torso? Yep: she’s a smarty.

zyan with her pipettes and bottles

Now she’s almost 2 years old and she’s definitely graduated to even bigger things: one of her favorite things to play with is a bottle (filled with water) and a pipette, which she smells and pretends it’s any one of her favorite oils. She’s also putting the drops in a second bottle so she’s already got the basic picture of what to do to start making perfume. (How awesome is that??) Her other favorite thing to do right now is color. So what do you think: are we making a budding multi-sensory artist here or what? Only time will tell but I for one can’t wait to see what this early interaction with her senses will bring. I think that what ever it is, it’s going to be AMAZING.

"Absinthe", 2009, Multi-Media on paperboard, DSH

* the Quintessence link will take you to my Multi-Sensory Artist Facebook page where you can see every image in the show in the photo gallery.
** image credit: Zyan sniffing at Quintessence: courtesy of Mary and Brenyn Schultz-Williams

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a Renaissance Brussels Tapestry that inspired "Alba", one of my perfumes for DAM

What a week it’s been… I think I say that every week : “Wow! what a rollercoaster ride”, but it’s true. I’m always amazed at how topsy-turvy life is and the world is. Or is it me? Who knows…
As a culmination of the week or maybe the month, I gave my presentation and official debut of the Italian Splendor collection at Denver Art Museum tonight and had the wonderful good fortune to meet and make the presentation with the Assistant Curator of the museum, Angelica Daneo. What a lovely woman and so very knowledgeable. I have studied much of Italian Art and the Renaissance but I still learned quite a bit more about the history of the specific cities in the DAM show and their artistic traditions. How I love that…learning so much more.
I thought as I drove home in the rain from the museum tonight that life is just like a tapestry… all woven together of this and that; this person and that, to make this ‘picture’ for a moment. The crazy endless rain, the nervous energy of presenting a new collection and the coming (I know it!) Springtime thrill is this new image and I am grateful to have this moment of experiencing it in its fullness: Life. Yes.

And so I came home all immersed in Italy and it’s multi-faceted culture to settled down with some steamed vegetables with parmesan cheese, olive oil and fresh garlic… poured a lovely glass of chilled soave and flipped on “Summertime” (c.1955 starring Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi) on netflix. I could (and have!) watch this film about a thousand times and still love it; especially when I want to see and feel Venice, which is *always*. (There are luminous colors and sounds that I can only find in Venice and when I’m so far away from it, I console myself with films). And am I imagining it? This soave smells remarkably like the Venus & Cupid perfume I presented tonight. How delightful…

Well, Buona Note, mi amici! (aka: so long, cookie~) 😉

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I’m thinking about Spring… I’ve *been* thinking about Spring. And Summer. And Autumn…but mostly about Spring. I, like everyone else, is wondering when the chilly rain will subside and warm, sunny Spring will be here to stay. My roses, of course, are loving this rain as are the irises and muguet (!) but I seem to be extra sensitive to what the weather brings and I’ll be damned if I don’t just want to stay home everyday, eat soup, watch old movies and sleep cozily until Spring comes. I’m used to this sort of nagging feeling in winter but by the time May rolls around, I’ve usually hit my stride somewhat and feel ready to climb some mountains and shoot the moon.
In the meantime, there’s still projects, projects and more projects…not the least of which are the new perfumes for DAM and the PLAP project! (Peace Love and Patchouli, for those of you who don’t know about PLAP yet). Oh yes and upcoming stuff with the Natural Perfumers Guild. (WOW! It seems like I’m still showing up, it’s just my subconscious that wants to go back to bed. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am speaking out loud what a lot of people I know have been thinking and wanting. 🙂 )

Well, now that I’ve ranted for a paragraph or so… I’m off to the studio. Better late than never. And I’ll be completing my preparations for Friday’s talk at Denver Art Museum. We’ll be smelling the Italian Splendor collection while walking through the galleries and looking at the works that inspired it. Also on tap today is making further mods on my three (yes, 3!) patchouli concepts in order to narrow my choice down to one for “PLAP” and tonight’s class with my apprentice, Amber. So, even though it’s late in the day, there’s still tons to do. Off I go… wishing everyone a lovely day whether it be rain, snow or sun in your part of the world.

* image credit: rainy spring day image cane be found here
* image credit: attributed to Girolamo di Benvenuto, 1470-1524, Venus and Cupid, about 1500, Tempera and oil on panel, Denver Art Museum, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961-1972
* Image credit: perfume pharmer

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