Can Smell Be an Artistic Medium? A Perfume Expert Teamed Up With Joana Vasconcelos and Other Artists to Make ‘Olfactory Sculptures’

We have artwork for the eyes and music for the ears, however what about about artistic stimuli for our sense of odor?
Phillips public sale home in Paris is addressing this query via a brand new present of olfactory sculptures by six artists, together with Joana Vasconcelos and Adel Abdessemed, which incorporate uniquely created fragrances by perfumers.
“Profile By” is the fruit of an exploration by perfume knowledgeable Diane Thalheimer, who invited every artist to workforce up with a perfumer to develop a perfume and embed it into an art work. She shared her thought with the perfume manufacturing firm International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), which agreed to pair six of its perfumers with the artists Thalheimer wished to collaborate with.
“I selected artists who’ve sturdy personalities and a particular strategy in the direction of making artwork as a result of meaning their olfactory identification will probably be stronger,” Thalheimer advised Artnet News. She then interviewed every artist to unravel their “olfactory identification” earlier than matching every of them with an IFF perfumer.
Joana Vasconcelos. Photo: Kyla Rosselli.
Vasconcelos conveys in her scent, titled Lança, her curiosity in well-being and yoga. Her collaborator, perfumer Anne Flipo, sought to translate the seven chakras into an incense-based perfume, which is subtle by way of Vasconcelos’s small, cross-shaped white ceramics adorned with brightly coloured crochet.
“We had Zoom conferences each week to talk about the perfume and we met in Paris so I may perceive the world of fragrances [by visiting the IFF laboratory],” Vasconcelos mentioned of the collaboration.
The expertise of incorporating the sense of odor into her work has led Vasconcelos to ponder sculpture in another way. “Normally my items are very giant and occupy an area. Here, the sculptures are small and it’s the perfume that fills the quantity of the house as a substitute,” she mentioned. Vasconcelos intends to incorporate scent-filled sculptures into her exhibition on the chapel Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes in France subsequent 12 months.
The exhibition additionally highlights the significance of odor at a time when many individuals are dropping it. “My cousin is one in all many individuals who misplaced his sense of odor after contracting COVID-19,” Vasconcelos mentioned.
Pablo Reinoso. Photo: Kyla Rosselli.
Meanwhile, Paris-based artist Pablo Reinoso, who has designed perfume bottles previously, collaborated with perfumer Domitille Michalon Bertier to develop a recent, woody scent that’s subtle via the enamel a part of his spiraling picket sculpture, Rocking Me.
“I’ve labored on creating fragrances for Givenchy however that is the primary time that I’ve developed one thing about my very own style and not strategically for the patron,” Reinoso mentioned. “My idea is that rocking the sculpture prompts the perfume.”
The most sensual piece is probably Abdessemed’s Noli me tangere—a ball containing an oriental rose perfume balanced beneath a ceramic-and-plaster white sculpture of a lady’s foot. “When he smelled the rose [note], he instantly considered a lady’s foot and envisioned seeing a lady that he can’t attain,” perfumer Paul Guerlain defined.
Adel Abdessamed Photo: Kyla Rosselli.
French sculptor and designer Hubert Le Gall is so enthusiastic in regards to the undertaking that he included his fragrance-embedded items in his present exhibition “Greek Fantasy” at Villa Kérylos within the south of France. He labored with Jean-Christophe Hérault on the fragrant perfume impressed by the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, which is subtle via a vase pierced by a department with glass beads.
Each sculpture is produced in an version of 15 to 50, with costs starting from €4,000 to €14,000 ($4,800 to $16,900).
“Profile By” is on view at Phillips, 46 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, till June 24, 2021.

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