Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ceci n'est pas une pipe

I'm a fan of René Magritte's La trahison des images, the painting of a tobacco pipe with 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe' written below it. It's a simple work, but very thought-provoking nevertheless as it explores the paradox of realism-art. 'The Magic Paintbrush' is only fiction and no matter how accurate an image is, it is but only an image. Likewise in perfumery, we can come close but we will never have the perfect rose.

I based my latest project on this painting, hoping to capture the essence of paradox in fragrance but it was more challenging than I'd expected since initially I thought all I had to do was to create a hyper realistic wood pipe accord. I began to question whether the pipe is new or old, and clean or dirty as that will change the olfactory image. I decided on a clean cherry wood pipe, pressed with fresh unburnt tobacco. The questions were never-ending and I pondered on the type of tobacco, or whether the pipe is lacquered, or what material would the mouthpiece be. It all got a little confusing at that point I began to wonder if the paradox was on me.

This is still a work in progress and I will update the progress.

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