Behind the Rain, Tears of Eros and Cirebon by Paul Schütze

There’s nothing like learning a new skill to increase your admiration one hundred-fold for those who execute it at a high level. Recently I’ve been dabbling in art and so now when I see what experienced artists can produce, it fills me with awe.

Paul Schütze is a London-based artist who has created works in a variety of forms including photography, installations and soundworks.

 

paul schutze abysmal

Abysmal Evenings by Paul Schutze

 

After creating scented elements for art installations and objects, he launched a collection of three personal fragrances in April of this year. Each one represents a key moment or impression from the artist’s memory.

Behind the Rain

Notes: Black Pepper, Fennel, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Linden, Mastic, Moss, Patchouli and Vetiver.

Who doesn’t love the smell of petrichor? That amazing aroma is created when rain hits the dusty ground for the first time after a prolonged dry spell.  The is what Behind the Rain seeks to capture and it does indeed start with a delicious blast of musty earth paired with juicy grapefruit, thereby mimicking the contrast between the dry soil and the quenching rain.

As the opening fades, I find myself wanting to spray it again to relive that short but fun moment. However, this is the fleeting nature of petrichor so it’s true to life. The rest of the development is tart grapefruit zest against a soft green backdrop with a lingering touch of musty-ness that reminds me of dusty tea leaves. Sometimes I’m repelled by grapefruit notes but here it remains pleasant and fresh for hours on end.

 

Tears of Eros

Notes: Ambergris, Benzoin, Cardamom, Cedar, Clementine, Frankincense, Gaiac Wood, Hyacinth, Iris Butter, Labdanum and Pepper. 

The stimulus for Tears of Eros was a chance moment when the aromas of Japanese incense, clementine peel and hyacinths collided in Paul’s Parisian studio.  It’s described evocatively as a “living incense”.

After an opening salvo of sparkling clementine Tears of Eros moves through a phase of green hyacinth before settling into a woody hyacinth with a hazy aura of incense. In the base it becomes salt encrusted and makes me think of driftwood. Tears of Eros is an unusual composition and holds me captivated partly for this reason.  It’s the one out of three which is the stand-out for me.

 

Cirebon

Notes: Bergamot, Bigarade Orange, Cedar, Magnolia, Orange Blossom, Petitgrain, Sandalwood and Vetiver

The inspiration for Cirebon is a night spent sitting by a lake on the island of Java as the sound of a traditional Indonesian Gamelan orchestra drifts across the water. I’ve visited Bali and went to a performance featuring Gamelan music which really is mesmerising.

The fragrance seeking to capture this experience can be summed up in two words, “spiced orange”, but it’s so nicely done that I don’t tire of it. Sometimes a simple accord that really works is all you need and Cirebon has the quality and depth of the other two compositions in the collection.

The orange is distilled down to its essence making it thick and potent, while the spicy facet is very smooth and suave. This turns what could have been a bright citrus cologne into a dark, sensual scent.

I really wish guys I’m in close proximity to on the tube would start wearing Cirebon instead of the unpleasant olfactory foghorns they usually go in for.

Paul Schutze

 

It’s interesting that a number of indie perfumers are also artists, including Liz Zorn of Soivohle and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes.  I wonder if, for them, perfumery is just another form of artistic expression, another palette to work with.

 

Do you see a connection between art and perfume? Do Behind The Rain, Tears of Eros or Cirebon appeal to you?

 

 

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13 Comments

Filed under Perfume Reviews

13 responses to “Behind the Rain, Tears of Eros and Cirebon by Paul Schütze

  1. Beautiful descriptions as always Tara, and I think Tears of Eros was the one that stood out to me too, purely going by what you wrote.
    I wonder if the fact that perfumers are often visual artists as well, has anything to do with the fact that musicians/ singers are so; if your main ‘craft’ or metier is fleeting, one has the need to also create something which remains?

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    • Asali, there are always CDs…? 😉 Though I realise they can’t capture the special quality of a live performance.

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      • Hey V, I think Asali was referring to why perfumers sometimes turn to art.

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        • I thought Asali was drawing an analogy between perfumers and musicians with their respective fleeting main métiers prompting them to turn to art as a more permanent medium. Perfume, once sprayed, is gone; a song, once sung, is also gone. Music on CDs can at least be played over and over? Sorry if I have still got things wrong!

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          • Hopefully Asali will set us straight!

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            • Hm, both I think. The analogy between both, and using it as an explanation as to why perfumers might ‘need’ visual art too. With recordings, it’s true they can be played over and over, but they still aren’t the real arts experience in my mind.
              Perhaps it’s also about which senses you use. My ears and concentration will get tired (as I assume will a perfumers nose and concentration), and in order to be in a creative flow it’s great using other skills and senses. Personally I feel, that my hands thank me for not just being practical tools, but being given time to express something too.

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              • LOVE this reply, Asali. In terms of exercise Val is always telling me “Your body wants to move” so many the hands long to be active and even creative too?

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    • It’s hard to say, isn’t it? Perhaps if you are a creative person generally that can be expressed in a number of directions.
      I’m wearing Tears of Eros today and it’s lovely. A hyacinth incense – who knew?!

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  2. Loved the sound of Tears of Eros, and thank you for bringing this house to our attention in such an evocative way.

    Petrichor teamed with grapefruit probably wouldn’t be my thing – there’s a Heeley with lemon and incense that I don’t get on with, something about the degree of contrast between the two notes? Though you say you have issues with grapefruit too and this is refreshing and just right, so I mustn’t prejudge it.

    A friend of my ex’s is a Gamelan teacher in Bali, so the spicy orange scent would also appeal, in lieu of being able to go there!

    I wonder what perfumes my artist friend David Gleeson would come up with – he is someone I really admire for his technical skills. Love the quirky name of the picture featured!

    And no, I don’t believe perfume is art, and align myself firmly with Bryan Ross of From Pyrgos on this point. Perfume for me is a functional product ie an example of design, not art. Though the design may be beautiful and intricate, and involve a lot of thought and creativity.

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    • V, how amazing that you know someone who is a Gamelan teacher! I’ll bring the three samples when I next visit.

      David is such a talented artist. How he paints glass so realistically blows my mind. Yes, “Abysmal Evenings” is a great title isn’t it?

      It hurts my head when I think about the “Is perfume art?” question. I tend to think it’s more of a design process but it helps if the perfumer has an artistic sensibility, if that makes sense.

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  3. Behind the Rain should be nice… Maybe I should get some for my vSO, who’s still very sore because of all the drought situation even though this year was slightly wetter than the previous four.

    I don’t necessarily see a connection between perfume and art, other than the fact that talented people are often have more than one talent and people who love and value great things (be that art, perfume or food), usually able to value good things in more than one area.

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    • We are moaning about the unusual humid, rainy weather we’re having here lately, but drought is no joke.
      I agree that talented people can usually turn their hand to more than one skill and creative people often like to explore different media.

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  4. Pingback: New Year, New You! – Perfume Lovers London, 17th January 2017 | A Bottled Rose

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