The Scents Unwrapped perfume for the May SCENTED sample pack was Providence Perfume‘s latest release, Vientiane. When we first smelled Vientiane, we knew it was very special. With the three rich & natural sandalwoods (Indian, New Caledonian and Hawaiian), combined with Charna’s amazing jasmine rice tincture, Chinese silk vine, Ginger lily and Rice paddy herb, this perfume is exquisite and has amazing longevity. We had only one correct guess, which belonged to Kathryn Steucek! Congrats! Your Vientiane bottle is on its way!
Palettes for the Senses: Art + Scent Demystified is a multi-sensory exhibition by Indigo Perfumery and HEDGE Gallery that allows you to experience art through all of the senses, including the sense of smell.
This new approach to viewing and interpreting art begins with works by Hedge-represented artists. Each piece of art is accompanied by a smell station containing a glass dome that is lifted to sniff the accompanying fragrance curated by Indigo Perfumery. Combining the visual and olfactory elements allows you to experience the art in a whole new way.
Indigo is also offering the Palettes for the Senses Sampler Set at Indigo. You will receive six 1 ml. spray samples (After the Flood, Sulmona, Dupont Circle, Fathom V, Anabasis, Au Coeur Du Desert) plus a surprise fragrance that you won’t forget!
Palettes for the Senses is open until March 4th at HEDGE Gallery. Local Cleveland residents are invited to experience this intimate and immersive adventure that highlights scent as an avenue of engaging the viewer on a visceral level.
For further details, go HERE.
Here is your chance to experience all seventeen of the artworks with the accompanying fragrances paired by Indigo:
Shield (pink spikes) 2017
Perfume pairing: Dupont Circle by Monsillage
While seemingly delicate, Shield (pink spikes)’s inherent strength is reflected in the beauty of the rose, the main floral note in Dupont Circle. The cedar, patchouli and oakmoss in its base offer strength and grounding.
Shield (green spikes) 2017
Perfume pairing: Lumen_esce by Nomenclature
Lumen_esce bubbles with transparency when first encountered, as does the silk in Sheild (green spikes). The sizzling violet heart note shoots forward, emulating the spikes of silk that reach out to greet the observer.
Growth; Bos Taurus 2017
Perfume pairing: Anabasis by Apoteker Tepe
Encountering a skull calls to mind the scent of both life and death. Earthy, musty, adventurous, mysterious, Anabasis walks you closely up to its smooth, yet irregular, texture.
Matthew and Luke Gallagher:
Growth Mantra 2017
Perfume pairing: Lonestar Memories by Tauer
Smell the sweet saddle leather on a dusty Texas ranch, with smoke settling on the older and wiser animal’s antlers…
Perfume pairing: Artist’s own creation by Meghann Hennen
Transitional Object Studies: Studies I,II,III 2016
Perfume pairing: Falling Into the Sea by Imaginary Authors
An encaustic work can be smooth to the touch, yet one senses the complexity of depth below the surface, very similar to the sea. Falling Into the Sea calls to mind the salt, sea and wind with its cheerful scent and uplifting notes.
June 14, 2015
Perfume pairing: Brezza di Mare by i Profumi di Firenze
Standing on the sand, contemplating the clouds and surf… the freshness of the ocean breeze, combined with the salty air… the understated scent of sea & sand…
August 17, 2015
Perfume pairing: L’Attesa by Masque Milano
Evening is here, with the summer heat and dry earth evident as you pull to the side of the road. L’Attesa recalls the dusty dryness of iris and still beauty at hand with creamy sandalwood and smoky leather.
Fractured Atlas, 2017
Perfume pairing: Molecule 02
A collection of pieces, a collection of notes. With a slight mineral-like edge to it, Molecule 02 is also transparent and cohesive, much like the amalgamation before you.
Fireworks [Temple] 2016
Perfume pairing: Indochine by Belle Fleur
A beautiful evening, illuminated by fireworks amongst the tropical trees- Indochine takes you to a region of the world redolent with spice, exotic woods and sensual accords that are warm and seductive.
Perfume pairing: Fathom V by Beaufort London
Surrounded by a haze of green textures and rippling waters, Fathom V reflects light and shade, bright herbals and dark mosses and spices.
Equal I, 2017
Perfume pairing: Au Coeur Du Désert by Tauer
Au Coeur Du Désert weaves spices such as Coriander and Cumin alongside long-lasting woods and greens, much like Equal I organizes its fibers into a chorus of deep colors and textures.
The Brit, 2016
Perfume pairing: Aqua Sextius by Jul et Mad
Full of aromatic fruit, the hint of water and movement, Aqua Sextius (and The Brit) are both refreshing and complex.
Perfume pairing: Entre Ciel et Mer by Pierre Guillaume
Delicate fruits, Pacific sea algae, lichen and moss- all are notes in Entre Ciel at Mer as well as depicted in Richards’ Seaweed. A journey under the open sea.
Perfume pairing: After the Flood by Apoteker Tepe
The scent of the many textures of earth itself- soil, rocks, gooey wetness- are captured in After the Flood. Add in mushroom, patchouli and green cardamom and the wet soil accord comes alive before you.
Sugar Shack 2016
Perfume pairing: Sulmona by Coquillete Paris
Standing in the kitchen, licking your fingers and surrounded by sweet smells is where both Sugar Shack and Sulmona immediately take you to.
Forbidden Forest 2016
Perfume pairing: Go Ask Alice by En Voyage
You are almost lost in this abstract forest scene, taking in the colors and textures. And then you begin to feel a calm happiness as Go Ask Alice reassures you with its joyous celebration of green, fruit and floral notes, culminating with a luscious dry down.
Art de Parfum is Indigo’s newest fragrance line and exclusive in the U.S.! These popular unisex perfumes span the fragrance families and are very wearable, from the office to sultry nights out. And did we tell you that they are all perfume extraits?
Recently Ann caught up with Ruta Degutyte, Art de Parfum’s founder, to discover the inspirations behind the line. Here is what we found:
How did you decide on the name Sensual Oud as oud is not listed as a note.
Because of the ethical and technical difficulties of working with real oud oil in commercial perfumery, we chose instead to use a variety of other materials such as cypriol, an essential oil from a type of grass, to supply that sour, smoky animalic effect of real oud oil.
Don’t get me wrong, I love real oud oil. Love it! I have a small (but precious) collection of oils that I turn to for reference. But procuring a stable supply of the real stuff for commercial perfumery is almost impossible, unless you settle for procuring it from a plantation, which is of course a possibility for the future. If we can find some way to secure a stable supply without harming the economic interest of local people or endangering the environment, then we will.
But even if we used real oud oil, ensuring that the aroma is the same from batch to batch is difficult because oud oils are distilled from different groupings of wood and can smell completely different from one batch to another. Oud oil is a perfumer’s nightmare, actually, because we need to be 100% consistent and use formulas that will produce the same result every time. A good analogy for oud oil is naturally woven cloth where minute variations occur from one length to another.
I would say that the oud accord we use in Sensual Oud tends more towards the soft, sensual side than the overtly powerful, pungent side.
Please tell me a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to what you’re doing now?
I have a degree in International Business and an MBA, and my professional background is in marketing and consulting. In 2010 when the financial crisis hit I had savings and courage, and I just decided, yes – why not leave the corporate world and go to Australia regroup and start my own company afterwards? I had a dream and absolutely no fear at all. But, yes, it was not a methodical approach.
I think my upbringing has a lot to do with my ability to leap into things with full confidence. I was born in Lithuania to a family of academics. My father is a famous philosopher, Algirdas Degutis, who has authored books such as “Language, Thought, and Reality” and “Individualism and Social Order.” My mother, who sadly died when I was very young, was an interpreter, and my stepmother, Grazina Miniotaite was a famous political researcher. My family helped me to understand that my dreams were just ambitions waiting to be realized – and that nothing should be allowed to get in my way, let alone me!
Perfume has always been an interest of mine, since I was a small child. When I was about 8, I started trying to make tinctures of stones, leaves, daisies, and so on – using water, of course, because I didn’t understand about ethanol, perfumer’s alcohol, etc. They smelled awful, of course, but that didn’t stop me!:-)
My interest developed into passion when I visited Grasse for the first time, where I met with people working in the factories, spoke to old, retired workers, began to learn a bit about the real business of making perfume. Alas, I have no formal training as a perfumer beyond what I have taught myself. So I have engaged a young, super-talented perfumer working out of the South of France to help translate my vision into reality. If I could spend my days looking over her shoulder, I would – I find the work of a perfumer endlessly fascinating.
We make the perfumes in a small factory outside of Grasse, but our marketing and sales are all out of London, which is where I’m based.
What led you to launch a perfume company in this era of mega releases?
Partly because there is so much noise. I wanted my perfumes to cut across all that noise using a simple, streamlined type of beauty. In the hustle and bustle of modern day lives, I think we are all attracted to the notion of living more simply, paring back to the essentials, and investing only in objects that are both beautiful and useful. I wanted my perfumes to espouse that type of simplicity.
Also, my fragrances are smartly priced – they are luxurious extraits but in terms of price they buck against the trend of, like you said, mega releases where the focus is on the bling, the bottles, the dazzling marketing, and so on. At Art de Parfum, we keep the focus on the fragrances themselves.
Who are you inspired by?
In perfumery, there are a few perfumers who inspire me deeply and whose work has guided my own. For example, the great Edmond Roudnitska, who created Diorella and many of my favorites. His style unites the classical, citrusy French eau de cologne traditions with a sort of soft, decaying fruit undertone that injects a sultry sexiness. Diorella really is astonishing. When I spray it on, it feels fresh and summery, but as the day wears on, it develops into something a lot more human. Chandler Burr described it as “mint toothpaste rubbed onto fur”, which I think is accurate!
I also have to give a shout out to Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Maurice Roger, who are the largely unsung heroes behind my all-time favorite fragrance, Fahrenheit by Dior. I am a huge lover of Fahrenheit. But it has to be vintage! I hunt down small bottles of the vintage and stockpile them for my own personal use. I’m aware that it’s marketed to men, but I don’t believe in such arbitrary gender classifications. Luca Turin in The Guide said that perfumes can’t be masculine or feminine because perfumes don’t have genitalia – which makes me laugh, because it’s both true and funny!
Business-wise, I am inspired by the work of independent perfumers Andy Tauer, Vero Kern, and Liz Moore. They balance a fierce artistic independence with a good sense for what will still be commercial enough to sell. They are also excellent role models for how to build a friendly, engaging, and authentic relationship with followers and fans of their brands.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Streamlined, minimalist French chic! The French are never gaudy or flamboyant. In fact, their style relies on simplicity. Coco Chanel said that every woman must stand in front of the mirror and take one thing off. The idea is that only the essence of that woman’s style remains. And it is exactly this principle that my fragrances reflects.
What is your oldest olfactive memory?
Ah, my mother, of course! Even at a very early age I was conscious of the beautiful powdery smell of her make-up and perfume, which would brush off on me when she kissed me. She only ever had one bottle of perfume at a time, bought for her by my father once a year on birthdays or Christmas. The perfumes varied, but most of all I remember her wearing Joy, Chanel No. 22, Chanel No. 19…..they must have been the pure parfum because I remember the bottles as being very small and precious-looking.
I will never forget the pure rush of happiness I experienced when I would sneak into her bedroom, take the stopper out, and sniff the top of the bottle. Never on the skin, you understand! Even as a child, I knew just how important these small bottles of luxury were for my mother. She worked hard all her life and didn’t have much in the way of nice clothes or jewelry. That’s kind of how I’d like people to treat my perfumes – as little objects of pure luxury and indulgence for people who deserve a bit of beauty in their lives.
How did you choose your beautiful bottles?
Thank you for saying that they are beautiful! I also think they are lovely. I thought a lot about how I wanted my perfumes to be packaged. The most important thing, of course, is how the perfume smells. But I also wanted the presentation to send a message of simplicity and beauty. It is easier to hide aesthetic flaws in a gaudy bottle – mine are minimalist so they have to be perfect in every dimension. The box feels like textured linen and opens like a book, and the cap is of a cool, textured wood.
What do you have in store for the future?
First of all, I want to establish a warm, approachable, and friendly connection with our fans, clients, and buyers. That right there is our core base for operations – we will only survive and grow if we are making perfumes that strike a chord with our customers.
Meet the five perfumes:
Gin and Tonic Cologne
Not one thing. No smell. No taste.
Salty nuts? Warm and tasty broth? Aromatic herbs? Spicy sauce?
No. Nothing came through these blocked senses.
We had just returned from a trip to Spain full of sensory gratification. Between the sweet flowering orange trees, mimosa blooms bursting and plenty of gourmand smells wafting out of the restaurants, our noses were working overtime. And, of course, we were also trying to avoid the smokers. Most of the country seems to ignore that smoking is not good for one’s health.
Within a few days after returning on the plane (otherwise known as a germ-laden tube), we both came down with a respiratory virus unlike any we had ever had before (which thankfully is very rare). It only took a couple of days before my clogged sinuses apparently crossed the line and all taste and smells diminished… diminished… and were gone.
Suddenly my food tasted like cardboard. Dry. Crumbled plaster came to mind. My mouth was… there. I could not eagerly anticipate the smells of dinner in the making. No basil in the sauce? No tomatoes, garlic or onions. Grilled meats on the barbie? Couldn’t tell- I just saw that the grill was on and an occasional plume of smoke escaped. Drinking a cold drink was not refreshing.
But the worst of it was I could no longer smell the perfumes in my perfume boutique. I opened the doors in the morning and knew that I should be met with the immediate need to air the store out before opening but no, nothing. I of course proceeded to open the two sets of doors for the cross breeze and turned the fans and vent on high, but it seemed for naught. Intellectually I knew it was needed.
After a week, I began to worry- what if this became a permanent loss? OMG! What would I do? I knew the perfumes in the shop pretty well by now so could still guide customers, but this was certainly not ideal. And we were having a well-known perfumer visit the boutique at the end of the week.
Anosmia (the absence of smell) and ageusia (the absence of taste), although not well known, are often responsible for lethargy and depression. Who knew how much we take the senses of smell and taste for granted? As a matter of fact, we usually do not even think about the sense of smell. The act of smelling is automatic, reflexive and immediate. When that is suddenly taken away, you feel a certain disconnect with the world. Cooking with your nose is not possible. Knowing something is burning is no longer available to you. How would I know if there was a fire?
Each day was a further reminder of how important the senses of smell and taste were. During the average day, every person takes more than 20,000 breaths. The anosmia meant I could no longer smell my husband wearing his favorite cologne. Or my dog. Or the fresh bunch of jasmine in the store. Each breath provides the opportunity to develop or recall a different memory or emotion. That is if you can smell.
Two days before Indigo Perfumery’s event, I thought I tasted the toothpaste for a second. An hour later I thought is that really the taste of oranges in the fresh orange juice that my husband prepared or my imagination? I felt like the luckiest person alive as throughout the day, I slowly began to taste my food and even smell the new line of perfumes that had just arrived. The smoked salmon was almost overwhelming. A few times smells disappeared, only to return after blowing my nose.
A true blessing. With my smell and taste having fully returned, I am more aware than ever of their importance. I’ll take the good with the bad.
I am grateful. Spring’s renewal has taken on a new meaning!