making of

the classics

I am attending a drawing course right now: drawing in the museum and the last two session took place in the archeological museum. There, a lot of classic  statues from Greece or Roman, in all sort of poses, most of them naked, many of them broken. Drawing from a 3 D object is not easy. But looking at these classical statues helps to see a couple of things. One aspect: The beauty that underlies them, the human body as beautiful object, in perfect proportion.  Today’s picture, a broken torso, might have been Atlas, holding the sky. I was doing a couple of sketches, from various angles.

Quite often, when thinking or dreaming about new perfumes, I am visiting the classics, too. We can learn from the fragrance classics and often, we do not need to go back too far. Just 30 years or 50 years from now. Like an older version of Fracas, a somewhat older Jicky version or a perfume “cuir de Russie” or a vintage version of Antheus, just to name a few. Here’s the thing: I do not go downtown, to the mall, to visit what’s out there. For sure not in order to learn or with an expectation to experience and enjoy what’s out there. You cannot learn and find no inspiration there. I am personally totally convinced that industry has completely lost its way, and we are experiencing the same in “industrial niche” and this is the best that can happen to artisan perfumers. In that context:

I allow myself to copy one statement here, found on persolaise’s blog, part 1 (of 2) of an encounter with Luca Turin in London a couple of weeks ago. I recommend reading the interview and what Luca Turin has to say about perfumery and perfumes. …” So, it’s David and Goliath, really. And considering that, it’s amazing that artisan perfumers can do good stuff. And it also makes you think that, perhaps, the big perfume houses have lost their way.”