The way I was introduced to perfumery and the way I now introduce my Students to it is through a visual art media: watercolour. This is what I call "step 0" of the sensory perception of perfume, the one that explores the connections between scents and the sense of sight. It is also a media which I came across when performing research on botanical art for a perfume house: it's an artform that has become dear to me.
Watercolour is considered very delicate and precise, capable of producing "an astonishing variety of effects, from subtle atmospheric washes to brilliant tanslucent colour." It has first been used to record information about the world around us, hence we can find miniature paintings, animal and plant books, manuscripts and maps made using it. A perfect companion in the travelling and mapping of the world, also given its compact and easy-to-carry nature, it's been a knowledge tool.
Lara Melis Iris xiphium
Though landscape has always been the favourite watercolour scenery, this technique has later gained its status as a work of art and used in a different range of paintings, up to abstract. "It's long been regarded as a distinctive part of British cultural heritage", the leading British watercolour artist being Turner.
Today I had the fantastic pleasure of seeing WATERCOLOUR, the exhibition which is now on at Tate Britain here in London (see also TATE blog). Highly recommended to all the perfumistas out there who can see an artwork when they smell. And for them to discover the connections with perfume!
In this painting (Cozens) you can see the movement of the tree