John Waters would be proud: Twangy 60s-inspired rockers The Black Lips are taking a cue from his unforgettable film Polyester by layering the aesthetic experience of visual art with smells. Predictable olfactory accompaniments include garbage, weed appear in a line-up with some more ambitious scents like cedar wood, squid ink, semen, and ‘moon.’ The band say that their latest shows will be enhanced by a scent diffusion machine, a device they commissioned from some French friends. So far, one concert-goer has reported no special odors beyond that of those from your average rock venue. Perhaps they should seek out venues in a more sterile environment with little to no ambient smell. A science lab? Keep your nostrils open when they blow into your town.
Newcomer to the world of niche fragrance, Dana El Masri is lighting up with her mutlisensory creations. Her line Jazmin Saraï translates music into olfactory compositions. Each fragrance invites you to smell the music that inspired it.
Imagine a scent that captures the beauty and spunk of of MIA. Jazmin Saraï‘s Neon Graffiti (2004) shimmies and slides along the nostrils in time with Sunshowers. It pops top notes of electric citrus and mango, moving slowly through an herbaceous, tropical green before eliding into a soft beach bonfire made up of cedar incense. Where the opening notes are effortlessly youthful, the dry down has the gentle woodsiness of Miller et Bertaux‘s bobo chic fragrance, A Quiet Morning. Once you get your hands on this bright scent, perfect for summertime, you’ll want to blast MIA on repeat.
SPUR and the California College of the Arts have designed “Urban Olfactory,” an immersive exhibit to transport you to special spaces and places in history. Some of the more daring and disturbing concoctions are urban pollution in San Francisco and a putrefaction from distant Paris. While not all of the scents are offensive, however, the exhibit as a whole is not for the faint of heart. If you can’t get there, read more about it in this SF Weekly article.
Urban Olfactory is free and open to the public
January 30, 2014 to March 31, 2014
SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA
German perfumer Kim Weisswange has delivered on the age-old longing to bottle time. Her recent scent calendar proposes to capture each day in a different scent based on the mixture of scents that represent a specific month and day to make unique accords for all 365 days of the year.
Don’t miss the California College of Arts scent event, Olfactory Archive: 1738 – 1969, an exhibit devoted to scent art in architectural history curated by David Gissen and Irene Cheng. The opening reception will be held this Friday, October 11 at 7pm. The event and exhibits are free and open to the public. Artists represented include Aaron Betsky, Herzog and DeMeuron and Christophe Laudemiel.
Belgian scent artist Peter de Cupere has been busy. His current installations at Middle Gate Geel ’13 “Wine Table” and “Drunken” invites spectators to explore the connections between religion and emotion in outsider art. The smell component is, as one would expect, the smells of the alcohol transposed into the body of the artist.
The École National Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs has partnered with IFF on “Lost in Paris,” a multifaceted design exhibit commemorating the City of Lights. The show includes an olfactory piece on memory called “Outside Paris.”
“Lost in Paris” now until January 11, 2014 Le Lieu du Design at 74 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine