Post by Ainslie Walker
Hi Fumees! Hope you are well?
I am a big fan of nose, Geza Schoen’s work, which includes creation of the Eccentric Molecules collection, many Ormonde Jayne fragrances, Beautiful Mind Series, the naughty Kinski and plenty beyond.
Late last year I observed Geza was working on a project linking sound and scent, so I reached out and got in touch. A week later I received three fragrances with specific and intriguing instructions, printed on transparent paper, explaining the method behind creating the fragrances and allowing me to follow the same journey as the nose himself.
A mixed tape from Geza Schoen?
The project was called Ephemera, the initiative of Unsound – one of the worlds leading electronic and experimental music festivals.
The letter clearly indicated not to open the fragrances, instead diverting me to a link, suggesting I also pop on some headphones:
Clicking on the first video is a track by Steve Goodman (aka Kode9) which inspired Geza to create the fragrance ‘Bass” I open the fragrance whilst listening and watching the video by Marcel Weber. With bass sounds interspersed with crackling white noise, I inhale and smell earthy woods, dirty, smoky cigar, rum, lapsang souchong tea, mossy robust leather and castoreum seeping into my olfactory system. I see tan/reddish brown but I feel a dark green presence too…something slightly soapy. A woody, kind of dirty, aromatic.
Neutralizing my nose I pop on the second track called “Drone” by Tim Hecker, whilst smelling the accompanying fragrance and watching the video, which I feel is a perfect match. Otherworldly…out-of-spacey and surreal to begin with visually…I hear an ethereal airiness in the music. Aldehydes sparkle and an almost citrus sharpness mix in a more hyper-real way with juniper trees, cold, possibly covered in snow…and there’s some definitely ‘unnatural’ aspects. Earthy and in time, getting more oily and rounded. Notes of patchouli, ambergris and vetiver pass by leaving a kind of cannabis and papyrus scent, which is not unpleasant, but strange.
After a third break, Noise by Ben Frost begins dry, peppered and pencil case-like-cedarwood with a saffron sour tang. Birch tar smoulders, reminding me of the scent after an Aussie bushfire, very thick and ashy in its nature. (Seen before in Naomi Goodsir’s Bois d’Ascese, but still quite different) Continuing smelling the ash turns a little like welding, metallic. The notes make total sense when watching the film, which to me looks like X-rayed smoke!!
Wearability: I like Bass best, followed by Noise, then Drone (based on the drydown on my skin after an hour or so)
Interestingly the bottles are handmade in Krakow (see my article involving Polish glass and vodka tasting for APJ last year: Borscht, Vodka and Tears) I like them a lot, especially the design printed on the thick glass.
Naomi Goodsir, Andrea Maack, Byredo, By Kilian, Nasomatto and Comme de Garcons fans, these will most certainly be up your street
Which of the three fragrances do you want to try the most and why? What scents do you have at home that you would match to the videos/music?