5 aprile 2016

Smell Festival 2016: perfume is Magiae Naturalis

The Milanese fair of perfumes has just ended and also this year I was lucky enough to meet in person many of you, eager about spur of the moment comments. For the most tireless perfume lovers, while waiting for my inpressions, let me share with you as an exclusive preview for La Gardenia nell'Occhiello the program of Smell – Festival dell'Olfatto, the event dedicated to the sense of smell and the art of perfume that will be held May 18-22 2016 in Bologna.

Magiae Naturalis has been chosen as the title for the VII edition. With international guests, exhibits and paths dedicated to botanical perfumery, the Festival celebrates the Perfumer-Magician and Nature, the inevitable reference point for any fragrance lover.

The theme of this edition refers to the book with the same name by Giovanni Battista Della Porta: the humanist, scientist and alchemist from Naples, who contributed to spreading the techniques of distillation and the art of perfume at the end of the Renaissance period. The Natural Magic evoked by the Festival focuses on the perfumer-magician, who knows the secrets of nature and is part of the transmutation of reality, combining elements through the knowledge of their magical embraces.

The main location for the event is the Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna, where on May 21-22, the botanical perfumery by Olfattiva will be the focal point, transforming the exhibition space of the Museum into a Mediterranean garden. Among natural grass carpets and flowering oranges; spagyric cucurbits and alembics, the Olfattiva space will be an oasis where the public can enjoy sensorial experiences and laboratories dedicated to natural perfumery.

Oliver&Co. Gincense
From its very first edition, Smell Festival has forged a fruitful bond with the artistic perfume scene, thanks to participation of Italian and international representatives. These include Oliver Valverde, founder of the Spanish independent brand Oliver & Co with fragrances inspired by numerous influences: from botanical illustrations to outer space. Futuring Nature is the title of the presentation at the Music Museum, during which he will share his creative process mindset and his vision of perfumery in the 21st century. Known as a self-made fragrance designer, Oliver Valverde will also hold a perfume workshop where he will introduce the participants to his personal method of composition, based on extemporaneous intuition, abstraction and objective-free experimentation. The botany of outer space is the title of the exhibit he created especially for Smell Festival, using tables, images and olfactory evidence in order to translate the atmosphere of a cosmic nebula photograph into a fragrance.

Again at the Music Museum, Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi, founders of Masque Milano, contribute to the development of the theme, Magiae Naturalis, explaining to the public how a perfume can interpret the smell and symbolism of the Narcissus, a flower rich in mythological and literary echoes around which RomanzaVictorian Narcissus, the latest fragrance by their House, revolves. The exquisite essence of Narcissus Poeticus, cultivated in France and processed at Laboratoire Monique Remy is used to compose this perfume that, as is the intent of the two creative directors of Maque, becomes the glorious emblem of the Victorian Epoque, exulting, in pure dandy style, artifice as a creative antidote to the repetitiveness of Nature. As Oscar Wilde said, “A really well-made buttonhole is the only link between Art and Nature".

Do not miss the appointment with Room 1015, the French brand founded by Michael Partouche (alias Dr Mike). The brand name refers to the room at the Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles used to bear the distinction of being favorited by bands like The Rolling Stones or The Who specialists of the “room trashing”. It is known for being the most destroyed room in the story of rock’n’ roll. Escaping from a rigid destiny as a pharmacist, Dr Mike discovered the power of salvation of the electric guitar and, crossing the notes of a Gibson with those of scented materials, he creates powerful perfumed potions. His high volume scented visions will be presented on May 21 at the Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica in Bologna. During this event, their designer, Dr Mike, will spread rock chills embracing his electric guitar.

Caserta Royal Palace Garden
Given the topic of the event, reference to gardens, locations of delight and sensorial gratification, is a must. Creating this important connection is a laboratory dedicated to the perfumes and odors of the park and the garden of the Royal Palace of Caserta, held by Addolorata Ines Peduto and Gerardo Pasquale Iodice. The sensorial path winds through the Bosco Vecchio (Old Woods), an area of the park that dates to the sixteenth century, and the English Garden, built in 1786 for Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples and Sicily. Over the years, the Park, 120 hectares, and the English Garden, 23 hectares, have become an enormously important botanical complex for the existing indigenous species and the exotic species, some of which are truly living monuments. At Music Museum in Bologna, the public can get to know part of this patrimony through botanical samples, such as leaves, flowers, fruits, cones, branches and bark, anticipating the special visit to the Royal Palace of Caserta that Smell Festival is organizing for the summer.

The sense of smell is often considered the most instinctive and “animal” of all our senses, another special guest at Smell Festival, Roland Salesse, researcher in the Neurobiology of Olfaction Unit at the INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), will reflect on the cultural and aesthetic value of the perception of smells, starting from considerations regarding the nature and physiology of the sense of smell. For decades, Salesse has been working with the sense of smell, ranging from its biology through to very recent applications of this sensorial spectrum within the artistic and theatre environment, as explored his paper “Le spectateur olfactif”.

On May 20 the Grand Hotel Majestic Baglioni will guest the Perfume Showcase: an evening dedicated to a selection of prestigious brands of niche perfumery, with special attention to new formats and products. During the event, Essenses Creative Lab will present Beyond Appearances, an interactive game that involves the public in theme paths centered on the leading fragrances of this Italian distribution house: Stephane Humbert Lucas, Arty Fragrance by Elisabeth de Feydeau, Le Galion, Olfactive Studio, Aedes de Venustas and much more.

Smell Atelier Workshops
The students of Smell Atelier who have completed the course The Language of Perfume creating a collection of five fragrances, titled Magiae Naturalis, will exhibit their creations.
Smell Atelier, as a creative production laboratory, will be involved in creating the fragrances for the performance Tra Gli Alberi e i Profumi, by and with Angelica Zanardi, presented on May 19, at Fienile Fluò. The perfumes created for this occasion by Giuseppe Caruso will be the emotional counterpoint of the narration: a free wandering through history, legends and botany, among memories and sensations, shaded by century-old trees. Because Magic is nothing more than the “contemplation of nature”, as Giovanni Battista Della Porta wrote.

The complete program of Smell Festival 2016 will be available online in mid April.

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