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!
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?
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.