The WORLD in World Smell Day
A something in a summer’s noon –
A depth – an azure – a perfume –
George Dodd writes …
“The world of World Smell Day is very dear to my heart. Smells are charmingly universal. The smoky peaty aromatic molecules floating upwards from the peat fire in your country cottage pass into the atmosphere and may in the following days reach as far as America (but at a dilution such that you can no longer smell them).
When I was growing-up in the 1950s, ‘taste’ in the world of smells and aromas was dominated by France with its vintage wines, unrivalled gourmet flavours and the ever popular and gracious French perfumes.
During the lifetime of World Smell Day (29 years) leadership in wine is now shared with the new wine countries and the USA absolutely dominates ‘tastes’ in perfumes with a superfluity of me-too products - over-vanilled, over-musked, perfumes - many paying a Freudian homage to early olfactory memories of Johnson’s Baby Powder. How I long for the powerfully warm and erotic animal notes in the old French classic perfumes – now deceased.
In the next few years we can expect the east – with perhaps India leading the way? – to challenge leadership of ‘taste’ in international perfumery. What a scented heritage India has – rose; carnation; champaca; sandalwood and the arousing scent of ‘real’ musk.
Much of the pleasure of visiting new places lies in the titillation of our sense of smell by strange odours which beguile us with their novelty and which confuse us with their ambiguous significance – sometimes we are unsure whether we are detecting a lack of hygiene or a monumentally arousing scent.
I long to experience again - the scent of the Azobé flower floating down the jungle-clad river Ogooué in Gabon – as I travel by pirogue.
There truly is an incredible spectrum of smells to be enjoyed all around the globe!”
The Paradise of Perfumes
...The creation and appreciation of art forms, including perfumery, must be conducted in a
utopian setting; it is a celebration of centuries of culture and history which cannot be evaluated
beneath the stark lights surrounding the cosmetic counters in a million supermarkets
around the globe
(Arcadi Boix Camps; perfumer; in his splendid book –
Perfumery: Techniques in Evolution; 2000)
‘Undoubtedly the perfume industry needs to
change, to embrace
once again the divine creations
produced by true olfactory artists.
I want to believe
that the industry will turn away
from the storm of overt commercialism in which
immersed and which is leading it to cheapen its
products to a level where all
culture and much of
the essence is eliminated.
(Shawn C Barrett; entertainment designer and friend of Arcadi Boix Camps
- In the book cited above)
The perfumer must be freed from
industrial captivity through the reawakening
of human aesthetic desire.
(Arcadi Boix Camps)
[the exchange above is part of a conversation between the two men; as recorded
in the book]