Over the weekend of the 6th and 7th March I staged 'Scented Souvenirs', a series of live streams as part of Artwaves Festival that saw me create a series of perfumes based on participants' experiences of holidays.
An informal, light-hearted project that was perfect for instilling a little happiness in the midst of lockdown, the aim of 'Scented Souvenirs' was to reveal how the art of perfumery can accommodate fun, nostalgia and storytelling. While the project was originally conceived as a physical installation, the impact of coronavirus and ensuing lockdowns saw 'Scented Souvenirs' presented online through 4 live streams presented from my studio in Sheffield (actually, it wasn't my studio, it was my bedroom which I was able to use in between decorating.)
The process involved asking participants to provide 3 words about holidays. I would then take these words and, through a method of interpretation and investigation, create a perfume that captured the essence of what holidays mean to each participant. Participants got in touch with their 3 words through social media, and also through live chat during the streams.
The project pushed me out of my comfort zone a little as it saw me devise perfumes in situ and entirely on intuition while being aware that I was performing live. 24 perfumes were created in total over the course of the live streams.
'Scented Souvenirs' is certainly a project I would consider revisiting. The informal, light-hearted nature of the project reminded me of the early days of my 'Perfume as Practice' project, which was all about exploration, experimentation and having fun. I certainly think it makes a neat companion to the more conceptual facets of my work. Though maybe next times it will be presented in a physical space.
Thank you to ArtWaves Festival for the opportunity to run the project. You can find the first 'Scented Souvenirs' live stream here: