09 May 2012

Perfume and Poetry

As scent and perfume continues to make long and swift bounds firmly into  the world of art and sensory experience, we now start to wonder how the idea of scent and poetry can inspire one another. 

The event comes from the minds of Claire Trevien and Odette Toilette who has been running the Scratch & Sniff events in East London for a while to broadly critical acclaim. The evening is called Penning Perfume and takes the shape of an ongoing project between poets and perfumers who endeavour to explore each others worlds and find inspirations through each others craft. The process will culminate June 12th at The Book Club in a Read & Sniff event. 

Trevien had this to say on the idea…

"I feel like smell is neglected in poetry – it's used quite lazily and people feel illiterate when it comes to smell. It's a challenge for poets to learn to smell," 

A dozen poets were given anonymous scents which they were asked to smell and create a poem based on the scent. At the same time six perfumers were asked to create a scent inspired by an anonymous poem they were given. 

One such pairing was Penny Williams (Orchadia) who was paired with poet Davib Morley. They had this to say on the process…

"When the poem was first read to me, in my 'mind's nose' my initial odour reflexes did not make a nice smell!" says Williams. "I've spent more time getting to know the poem and am developing a perfume that captures its essence."2

You can see more information on the evening HERE

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