Archive for July, 2013

This is really where it’s at for me.  So much time goes by that I don’t know where to pick up and start again.  I think about writing about a million times a day but just don’t find the minutes very often just to DO. IT.  I have a promised part 2 to the New Kingdom perfumes and even have a new perfume that has just launched {Matsu} but instead of writing about those topics what I am super jazzed about today is a fabulous aroma art project that is happening  (right now) in my studio and will be presented a week from this Saturday (July 27).

2013 idt postcard Final-1

Over the past few years I have had the great good fortune to do many art projects interpreting everything from paintings to haute couture to sculpture of various types… even improvisational live music.  But interpreting dance, though it has been suggested has never been achieved until now.  I am so pleased to be working with the Boulder Interweave Dance Theater interpreting two modern dance performances.

It seems that when I am interpreting an object, whether it be a painting, sculpture or fashion piece, there is always the line, texture, color or the material(s) that the object is formed from to use as reference points and landmarks.  It is something more or less concrete that can be seen and discussed by anyone experiencing it.  Not so for dance, I feel.  Movement and the human body bring about different things for different people.  We each may see different things.  We bring our own unique meaning to the movement.  Maybe this is why I am so much more excited to see how the aromas will be experienced by the audience at this event.  By incorporating scent, we are hoping to expand the mind and expand how we will feel about what we are seeing.  After all, the aromas give even more information about the piece, albeit rather abstracted, just as what is seen on stage and heard in the music will do.  It brings new meaning.  I for one *can not wait* to present these designs to the dance enthusiasts who will be attending the performances.


The two choreographers that I am working with are Mark Haines and Wade Madsen and their pieces could not be more different.


Wade’s piece has a genre-bending retro vibe but there is also a modern ‘straight-lined’ quality about it.  It’s called ‘WANT”.  Isn’t that name ripe with potential? Don’t we ALL want?  I think it’s an essential part of the human experience, to want.  To hunger.  All of these elements informed my choices for the aroma that I have created for it.  It definitely has more of a “perfume” sensibility than it being just a mere “smell sensation” (which could happen when interpreting art forms) with even some historical referencing for those who know perfume designers.  (Hint: there is a Roudnitska thread in there).

WANT is a modern chypre-citrus-fantasy that manages to pull out a small gourmand aspect as well.  You might think that this design would be a train-wreck from the sound of it but it’s not.  It’s polished, clean (not soapy) and sparkling and yet as it wears on the skin, warm, inviting and lovely to have on your person.   And, it has aldehydes; it’s gotta have a that vintage reference after all.  Surprised?  🙂  And then there’s the hidden hint of sugar, that unfolds as it wears like Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail of sugar cubes instead of crumbs.  It’s not cloying or gross or infantile.  It provides you with satisfaction, something to feed that hunger.  Sweetness is something we all want in one form or another.  Design wise for me it’s like an Alexander Calder mobile; kinetic, moving and all the parts relate to the others while being separate and whole all at once.


Mark’s piece, “Catch and Release” is something deeply emotional and sad.  It is the expression of heart-break and loss.  How does one express a deep melancholy, loneliness and the tears that accompany it, in scent?  This was the challenge and I hope that I have done it justice.  This design really IS aroma sculpture and it is meant to be.  The scent is totally abstract, without the signposts of perfume history or traditional elements that would render the design “wearable” to guide you.  I have to say that for me, it IS very wearable, but I am not most and I love a scent that you can’t pigeonhole.  I am all too ready to ‘go for it’ when it comes to trying something that is not designed to be ‘pretty’ (although I love pretty, too…who am I kidding?).  If I had to describe Catch and Release I would categorize it as a modern chypre-green.  But that doesn’t totally say it.  It’s just textbook to say that it is a chypre because it has the typical bergamot-oakmoss combo, but it also has calone.  I know I’ve lost some of you right there but wait.  It also contains immortelle and some of the ancient ayurvedic choyas and attars.  C&R is not a frivolous novelty like so many calone-laden melony-marine whatnots.  While it is sad and lonely, it is also strangely seductive.  There’s an animalic warmth that keeps you smelling.  And feeling.  It’s strange and wonderful like finding a once loved, now abandoned old cottage.  Or an old book of love poems that’s been sadly discarded.

The performances have all been created to express the multi-sensory world and I encourage anyone who is in Boulder on July 27 to find their way to the CU campus to check it all out.  I am pretty sure you’ll be glad that you did.


“In the Realm of the Senses” on July 27, 2013 at 3:00 & 8:00 p.m. at the Charlotte Irey Studio Theatre on the CU campus.

Tickets range from $16 to $22 and are available 3 ways:
Online: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/384647
Call us: 303 492-7945
Pick up tickets at our co-sponsor/ticket outlet Boulder Body Wear
This performance is recommended for audience members ages 13 and older.

For more information about IDT visit our website: http://interweavedancetheatre.org

image credits:

Interweave dancers, photo(s) by Wendy Turner

calder mobile image found here 

cottage image found here (but manipulated by me)

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