Displaying artworks in galleries with complimentary aromas seems to be a growing trend and one I’d like to explore. There is currently a ‘Sensorium’ at Tate Britain in London, where IFF perfumers have worked with Odette Toilette to scent a number of paintings as part of a multi-sensory experience.
Over in the States, indie perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has created the “In Bloom – Scent Experience” for the current Impressionist and Post Impressionist flower painting exhibition at Denver Art Museum. This is their eighth collaboration.
In the exhibit, three of her accords are spaced around the gallery to create a surround scent impression of Monet’s beloved garden in Giverny, France.
These accords are available as three separate fragrances through DSH Perfumes (Le Jardin Vert, La Danse des Bleus et des Violettes and l’Opera des Rouges et des Roses).
The perfume Giverny In Bloom has also been released which ties the three together and encapsulates the overall aroma created at the exhibit. When working on the fragrance, Dawn used information about the actual garden as well taking inspiration from the paintings.
I think DSH Perfumes are particularly good for green fragrances. Le Jardin Vert is another example; chock full of galbanum, moist and vivid. It’s brimming with sap-filled stems, grass, leaves and just underneath, a hint of mineral-rich soil. Here we have the backdrop of variegated vegetation that enables the flowers to shine.
La Danse des Bleus et des Violettes
A cool, bluish purple hue is created by a bed of violets, irises and lilacs. The centrepiece is a blanket of violets which are fresh and very green to start with, creating a dewy bouquet with lots of foliage. The dry down is deepest indigo and velvety smooth.
L’Opera des Rouges et des Roses
This is a striking display of exceedingly spicy carnations accented by vintage roses and blousy peonies. These are the eye-catching showstoppers whose hot pink and red petals draw your attention. Their scent is just as arresting and creates a sense of drama.
Giverny in Bloom
The three scents above combine in Giverny in Bloom to paint Monet’s flower garden in various olfactory shades of green, blue and red.
It’s interesting to experience the whole panoramic aroma after sampling the component scents. The effect is actually softer although fuller than the separate strands. All three accords are seamlessly woven together to re-create the garden at Giverny.
This makes for a gorgeously lush, green floral fragrance. I’m just as aware of the greenery – that is the very foundation of the garden – than I am of the flowers that intersperse it.
Like the paintings, the overall effect is impressionistic with blurred edges and more muted shades than the constituent parts, but together they bring a complete garden into being.
Giverny in Bloom radiates colour and plant-life in soft focus.
How do you feel about scented art experiences? Have you been to one?