The fascinating thing about the senses is that whilst we think of them as belonging to five distinct categories connected to five body parts, our experience of them is far more sophisticated.
We find examples of deaf musicians playing through vibrational touch (Evelyn Glennie), artists painting sound (Paul Klee) and cultures that have a different colour for each day of the week (Thailand).
One long summer’s evening, I was watching the dancing flame of Aequill’s Juniperberry & Cerdarwood candle, breathing in it’s mysterious balsamic aroma, when I decided to compose a piece of music for solo ‘cello that captured the essence of the scent, entitled ‘Study of a Flame’.
Whilst recording, I felt myself becoming the flame, the sounding wood of the cello becoming the fragrance, and I asked myself “if it is possible to compose music from scent, is it also possible to create perfume from sound?”.
The question led me to join Aequill’s artist in residence program where alongside head nose Jintana Khieochaum, I developed the house’s first perfume range inspired by sound.
Sound and scent are remarkably similar in the way that we both talk about and experience them. Music and perfume can both be composed of ‘chords’ containing a top, middle, and base, and sound and scent are both temporal forms with the ability to fully consume us one minute, and completely disappear the next.
Over the course of the residency, I explored their similarities, building a scent organ from pure essential oils and aroma molecules, making recordings of soundscapes around East London, and developing a language with which to express the coming-together of these two senses.
The result is SOUND, Aequills debut range of three wearable perfumes that presents the sounds of spring rain, birdsong and silence in scent form, utilising notes such as green tea, mimosa, and cedarwood.