The blog was founded in Boston in 2006 on St Patrick's Day - when there was some free time - so March 17th is an anniversary that's easy to remember.
Happy St Patty's Day and a wave to Boston and Cambridge, MA!
To fête this anniversary, we're redefining the blog as a Culture & Beauty Blog, with the help of a Rousseauist motto: From Olfaction to Imagination.
What Rousseau really said is that the sense of smell is the sense of the imagination, paradoxically calling attention to the inherent weakness contained in the physical action of smelling. He therefore meant that smell requires more than the other senses a reliance on imagination.
Perfume then becomes a privileged means of accessing and giving a central role to a more visual and visionary world on this blog....
I have long wanted to establish that bridge more systematically. Ultimately, it's a question of personal inspiration rather than anything more logical than that. You could just as well focus on perfume and photography or perfume and architecture, and even more naturally on perfume and cuisine. So, I would like to push that further and say that while cinema and perfumery are both artistic forms, they share a priori nothing in common. It's just that you may derive insights from frequenting assiduously two separate fields of creation. This is a personal choice, and there won't necessarily be any justifying links between the two.
Perfume is however still on the menu - with an expanded "New Perfume Index" going further back than 2006, the year the blog was founded. But I'm interested in cross-fertilizing and turning towards more complex objects, movies. Perfumes are complex but in a different manner: internally, they are chemically intricate, but artistically rather not that complex. They are more than movies dependent for their very structural existence on the life experiences of wearers, their skin chemistry to some extent, rather than stand on their own.
Looking at movies is also overcoming the abstract, faceless aspect of perfumery. What will always be missing from a perfume is the need to relate to the human face and body, to read psychological expressions.
I've drawn comparisons with the movie industry from the very beginnings of the blog. When everyone, for example, was thinking of the perfumer as a romantic, isolated artist, misunderstood by the masses and hidden in the recesses of the industry, I pointed out to how similar in fact the production process of fragrance-making was to cinema production. Except there are no rolling credits on the bottles of scents. More recently, Christophe de Lataillade together with Pierre Aulas of Thierry Mugler, one of the most creative brands in perfumery, acknowledged in an interview on the blog that a perfume is really created by 50 persons at least.
I think of the new orientation as an Italian swirl ice-cream: there will be vanilla and strawberry in the cone instead of just vanilla. The blog is the cone, the blank cone on which movies will be projected...just kidding.
If in the past, I wrote about films and in particular paid attention to olfaction in movies (see reviews of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and The Night Porter), this time, I really want to go beyond the culture of olfaction ( although I have a surprise in store in the form of a review of a very little known olfactive movie). Because it's The Scented Salamander, there will be some focus from time to time on the culture of smells in movies. But, it's time to expand horizons.
Happy St Patrick's Day!