November 2, 2015
I have been asked if there has been a perfume blog or blogger that influenced me when I started CaFleureBon five and half years ago. Unquestionably it is 1000 fragrances by perfumer Octavian Sever Coifan (calling Octavian a blogger is like calling Robert De Niro an actor). Traditionally, the arts are classified as seven: architecture, sculpture, painting, music, poetry, dance, theater/cinema. It was Octavian who coined the term Fragrance is the Eighth Art. Over a period of eight years Octavian wrote 5000 articles and in Conclusion June 20, 2013, his last post, he wrote “We’ll see each other soon in a new beautiful context”. It is with great pleasure that we interview Octavian who is working in collaboration with Sculptor Nada Stojici at the Tiny Griffon Gallery in Nuremberg, Germany as they debut Scent Secret Spiral.
Scent Secret Spiral at the Tiny Griffon Gallery
How many perfumes did you create for the Exhibition?
Octavian Coifan: I did, in fact two perfumes (Spiral – the perfume in the classic presentation plus Arborea, the natural oil used during the creation of several sculptures), is directly inspired by the artistic works I had discovered in Romania in 2014, soon after “Jubileu” and “J-20”. These are my previous two perfume creations I did in June 2014 to celebrate the University of Arts and Design. They were presented at the National Opera.
Scent Sculpture Photo Veronica Kirchner
How difficult was it to scent wood sculpture?
O.C.: Creating a perfume for a wooden sculpture is a complex process. Form, space, texture, concept. I had to concentrate my attention on the artistic concept of the sculptor (directly linked to a certain aesthetic dimension), the natural scent of various types of precious woods she had used in her career and the metaphoric essence of the wood. I conceived SPIRAL as a “spirit” of wood and the metaphoric essence of its author, the sculptor. It is a “transformed” wood where the material (the precious wood used for each sculpture) becomes metaphor.
Photo: Veronica Kirchner
Please tell us about Spiral and Arborea
O.C.: Spiral is profoundly feminine, but it is neither a feminine perfume, nor an homage to a specific wood. For the first time, the “odor” is less important than the creative process. SPIRAL is the essence of a metamorphosed wood. A wood which becomes alive thanks to an Artist able to see beyond its appearance. The natural scent of a wood taken from a forest presents no interest to me. It is nothing more than a beautiful ingredient. But a wooden sculpture is alive. It is pure Magic. All sculptures are “impregnated” with my perfumes as well with other poetic extracts, more precisely, precious vials with flowers, perfume or extracts which are “hidden” parts of most sculptures. It is a scented puzzle, similar to Asian puzzle box carved from precious woods.
Both perfumes, Spiral (parfum) and Arborea (concentrate) are part of the creative work in a unique way. We started our work April 2015. Slowly, the perfume became a presence, than a part of the creative work once the sculpture started to be “infused” with life. The perfume concept and the creation of the exhibition follow the organic growth principle in design, a harmony with the natural cycles of life and scent.
Scent puzzle – mémoire rouge Daliana Iacobescu
Can you please speak more to SPIRAL…
O.C.: SPIRAL is a perfume created to scent a sculpture installation carved from an unusual wood. The sculptures imagined by Nada Stojici represent the Sancta Sanctorum of the Inner Self, a puzzle of secret drawers, doors to future memories. Two works of the Artist represent the starting point of this creation – one offers the aesthetic configuration which organizes the perfume formula, while another explains the Genesis of the accord. It is the secret note, often captive in a drawer, in a perfume bottle or in our memory. SPIRAL is an oriental woody perfume based on Imperial Xiang wood. It is a perfume note / ingredient I have discovered several years ago when I started my study about Tang & Ming scented architecture in the Forbidden City and various sacred places in Asia. It is not very well known in Paris, to my knowledge, and is very different from the classic Arabian agar note. It is a very complex perfume where this note is explored under each facet. The last note, perhaps the most unusual, comes from a rare ingredient perfumer Isabelle Doyen showed me after I graduated ISIPCA Versailles.
Artists are very important to me as they bring a completely new vision about life, beauty and very often the classic materials from the perfume organ. Art is about Transformation, the ability to see the future flower in a grain of sand. Everything is in SPIRAL – the way I see Art, the way I see the Art of perfumes, my endless inspiration from Nature’s secrets.
How did you meet the sculptor NADA STOJICI?
O.C.: We met in 2012 after a perfume art workshop I did in Romania before the birth of Borangic Beauty..
Will the fragrance be for sale?
It is not a perfume for sale, but the works of art are for sale. Spiral is perfume directly linked to a specific work of art presented at Nurenberg. It is ART, not “art used to sell perfumes”. More precisely, it is part of an art work.
Photo: Nada Stojici
How was the scent incorporated into the sculptures?
O.C.: Scent is part of each sculptures at every level – metaphoric, scented parts, and perfumes elements. Scent or odor is brought by various natural materials used during the creative process, from the scented wood to the accessory elements part of the aesthetic configuration. The perfume is the last element and is the one specially composed to accompany the sculptures. It enhances the odor thanks to an outstanding tenacity and diffusion.
Arborea Photo Veronica Kirchner
The perfume is used under its two forms – the concentrate (Arborea) acting as a second skin for the wood and SPIRAL, the veil or “esprit de parfum”. However, I wish to insist on the fact that these sculptures have their own scent even without my intervention. Our collaboration is the perfect marriage between sculpture and scent – both perfumes are worked with all details of this Art. Arborea is a natural perfume conceived as an homage to all perfume artisans responsible for the preservation of natural beauty in the world. Spiral is a very complex perfume, an homage to my masters in Paris.
Photo: Veronica Kirchner
How many of the sculptures were scented ?
- O.C.:There are around 80 works in the exhibition all scented.
XIANG – boîte embaumée Photo: Daliana Iacobescu
What were some raw materials used ?
Spiral is based on Imperial Xiang wood, Jasmine and captive molecules in overdose.
O.C.: What emotions were you trying to capture ?
Spiral is Art for ART. The only emotion I tried to summon was BEAUTY – the creative spirit behind each sculpture and each precious wood – the soul of each sculpture, most precisely the blue idol known as “Princesse Arborea”. It is a unique chance for me; my dialogue is with Beauty, the ideal world expressed by any artist. LOVE the miraculous “DNA” of Universe, I try to capture it with all my perfume creations. “What is ART if not the magic encounter between two universes which couldn’t meet elsewhere without the power of imagination which turns a “dream” into something “real”? The visible mirrors the invisible, blurring the lines between the real and the fantastic universe, between past memories and future.
Last thoughts to share with our readers and those who have been instrumental to this project…
.O.C.: I wish to express my humble remerciements to all those who, directly or indirectly, are part of my life and the creative process behind SPIRAL. To FIRMENICH for their amazing discoveries and “secret” molecules part of this perfume since 2011, to Isabelle Doyen (she presented me several of the most astonishing jewels in perfume creation in Paris), to Yann Vasnier (London is my perfume and your creations are part of my life !), to Arcadi Boix Camps (your writings are an endless source of wisdom and beauty since 1978), to LMR France for their fabulous natural extracts. To Jean Kerleo and Guy Robert because they opened me the doors of the art of perfumes and were the last Masters of this Art. Again, this perfume would not be possible without YOU, those who believe in the Art of Perfumes, more than a phrase on a bottle or press release for an expensive product. I wish to thank you, Michelyn and Ermano Picco for your friendship, it is very important for me. You are all in my heart and you inspire me!
Exhibition: October 30 – November 27
Address: Hirschelgasse 1, Nuremberg
Opening times: 3.00 PM to 7.00 PM
–Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Veronica Kirchner and Daliana Iacobescu for use of their photos and with gratitude to Nada Stojici