experiencing color in place of scent
There are people who literally taste numbers and smell color. When the brain is stimulated by one sense, but a different sense is triggered it is called synethesia.
In building a fragrance, I think you need to think a little in terms of color, taste and the texture of aromas. Because I am trying to evoke for myself a little scent story, the inspiration for a fragrance begins with a color or with poetic imagery. Meiuke began as a poem, and Dandelion as a color.
Dandelion was created to satisfy the cravings for intense color I was having in the deep grey doldrums of winter. When the snow is gone and everything looks dirty and monochromatic.
The intense bright green of the leaves and the cheery color of the flowers brought to mind chamomile, bergamot and the sharp spicy notes of black pepper. As the fragrance coalessed, I was reminded of spring days as a child when we shed our coats long before the adults are ready... snapping the freshly sprouted dandelion flowers and trying to shine them on the chins of our friends... the smell of the warming earth, and the milk sap from the stems of the dandelions.
This fragrance is warm, with a hint of vanilla at the end, with bergamot, chamomile and black pepper.
While I don't actually see scents in color, each fragrance evokes a complex battery of senses to 'send' you somewhere - a memory, real or imagined.
+ A side note about craving the color of dandelions in the depths of winter... I think it's worth noting that the craving for the color may be related to the craving of the nutrients of the plant itself. We speak a lot lately about eating seasonally, and dandelion greens can be a great wake up and purifier of the body after the sluggishness of winter.
I can remember being mortified that my Grandfather would go out and harvest a salad from our yard - greens of all kinds -including dandelion. Now, of course I wish I'd paid better attention, because as a poor farm kid from the middle of America, my Grandfather would have grown up harvesting whatever the land had to offer. He was closer to the earth and ate more seasonally: including those healthy greens in spring.
monique herzig, alchemist, aesthetician