“When we think of Greek and Roman statues, we’re likely to think of those pristine, white images, that showcase some really outstanding craftsmanship. We’ll go as far to attribute some form of elegance to the people who made them, too. The way the sculptor shows us the skin through a veil of thin fabric is impressive even today.
So when archaeologists discovered that there initially was paint on them - we we’re shocked! Who would paint such beautiful sculptures in those vulgar colours?
But of course it’s not those Ancient Romans that did their sculptors injustice - we just didn’t understand them well enough.
This, to me, summarises the way we think about scent. The academic Roy Porter says: “Today’s history comes deodorised”, and he is right! When we think about bathhouses or castles, we interpret them as clean, beautiful, calm places, while in reality they were bustling with life - and smells!
With life and scent fading from those places, they have lost their essence - their function as a place of human life and experience. They are just a collection of rocks, and the stories seem far removed from what we can imagine.
This is why I’m so excited to work on “Recollect”. As a perfumer and sensory designer it is my job to breath life into the stories from the past.
By recreating the smells that belong to the experiences we’re talking about, it feels like they are taking place right in front of us again. It makes us feel part of the rich history that surrounds us and allows us to look into other ways of life but our own. “