Sunday, 26 November 2017

Strange fruit - a review of Angelo di Fiume by Linari

I love fruit. Nothing beats the gastronomic joy of biting into a perfectly ripe mango or sucking bits of tasty seeded slime from the dimpled husk of a passion fruit. 

In the perfume world however, fruit is a frequently occurring whiff on the shelves of high street stores but underrepresented within niche perfumery offerings. Whilst citrus fruits have reigned as King of the top note and formed the backbone of tradition eau de colognes, their sticker siblings have not enjoyed the same favourable treatment  Is it the stigma of fruit being one half of the often derided ‘fruity floral’ genre? As enlightened perfume lovers continue to bore of the same old ‘oud-this’ and ‘amber-that’ there is room for a new trend. And with the possibility of enormous olfactory diversity, I hope to see the pulps, pips and juices stake their claim.

Quirky interpretations of fruity notes do exist right now though, we’ve just got to hunt them down. 

Linari’s Angelo di Fiume is a truly eccentric creation, combining a veritable fruit salad with caramelised smoke and vanilla. Sounds weird? It is. But it’s quite lovely. 

Fragrance Notes

Top: Cherry, Raspberry, Orange, Bergamot

Middle: Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Caramel, Rose, Green Leaves

Base: Vanilla, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Musk, Patchouli

Upon first spray, you are hit by sweet smoke - imagine a bonfire where dry leaves are coated in caramel. The smokiness is cut through by a fruit abstraction. You can’t detect the individual notes, instead a general air of juiciness announces it’s presence. There is a distinct feel of ‘Christmas market’ to the composition, rendering the whiff pleasingly wintry. 
As it progresses in to dry down, Angelo di Fuime loses the smoky quality and develops an extraordinarily sumptuous base, a perfect vanilla. Not the sweet tooth vanilla of a teen market scent, nor the boozy vanilla of Mona di Orio or L’ Artisan Parfumeur. This is a creamy, woody vanilla harmony, no doubt an atmosphere enhanced by benzoin and sandalwood joining the party.

The overall effect is delightfully decadent.

Linari house their creations in equally decadent bottles. The design has the weighty ice hockey puck feel of Bulgari Black and is topped by a carved wooden lid that would not look out of place in an old fashioned gentlemen's drinking club. The black label is ringed with 22ct gold. The bottles are luxurious, retro and deeply masculine. You would expect this bottle to hold a fragrance entitled ‘oud wood intense extreme noir’. But instead, it houses a fragrance that is unique, creative and a pleasure to the hopeful nose of a 'smelt it all' blogger.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Winner announced - Perfume print draw

Congratulations to Gerda from The Netherlands who is the winner of the Odiferess perfume print draw! 

I was overwhelmed with the kind comments and encouragement about my artwork and I thank everyone dearly who entered. 

As a treat for those who didn't win, I'm offering a promotion for readers of the blog during November at the Etsy shop. If you buy two prints you can receive a third free. If you would like to participate, head over to the shop do the following:

Add two prints to your basket, then during checkout add a 'message to seller', drop me a note stating 'Odiferess' and tell me your choice number three. I'll then add it to your order free of charge.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Scent your walls with fragrant art - an International giveaway


My perfume collection has extended. It’s filled its designated drawer and mounted the walls.

Fougere, Noir and Florale

Over the last month I created a collection of mixed media artwork themed around imaginary perfume. I spend my working days teaching young people how to make visual art that passes exams, it’s rare that I get chance to relax and create my own. However, in the recent holiday I got the bug back and spent the fortnight ankle deep in cut paper, devouring coffee and listening to French radio. I felt quite the bohemian!




The concept:
I think most people with a serious perfume habit have at least a little bit of Synesthesia. As fitting for an artist, I sense colour in fragrance. That which most pleases my nose tends to conjure gold and yellow hues. I don’t think it’s just the case that I have a deep adoration of ylang ylang. I gravitate towards scents that fizz and sparkle with an emphasis on volatile top notes, so perhaps I’m visualising champagne and jewels in my collection.
The artwork uses colour to describe fragrance genres as I sense them. I wonder if the colours resonate with you?


The process:
I monoprinted, stained, painted, tore and reconstructed paper. I also stained my kitchen worktop in the process which is now light grey wood with ‘crimson accents’. Joseph (also known as the feline paper shredder) ate several of the paper components and gained a temporarily Prussian blue paw. Coloured magazine paper was also used, sometimes soaked and scrunched up or scrubbed at to alter the surface texture. 
Once I’d created a huge collection of papers, I cut, layered and assembled imaginary perfume bottles. As I selected paper for each bottle, I imagined how that piece would smell, as if each section was a note within the composition. The creations represent fragrance genres and were named accordingly. 
The backgrounds were created by staining paper with acrylic inks. I tried to create a kind of abstract ‘shelf’ for them to rest upon, a little like a messy version of a Fragrantica wardrobe. 

Close up of a bottle from 'fougere', showing the layered paper techniques. 


The resulting collection of seven fragrance genres is available to buy as limited edition prints at:

To celebrate the launch of my collection, I would like to offer readers of Odiferess a chance to win their favourite artwork within the collection. The competition is open to readers all over the world and the winner be announced on Friday 17th November. To enter, please visit the Facebook page and leave a comment stating which one you would like to win. 

Good luck!