BERLIN — Cinema in surround scent has arrived. Le Cinéma Olfactif, a screening series launched at Berlin’s Soho House, aims to enhance artistic filmmaking with the addition of visionary fragrance. The debut screenings presented Mark Buxton’s scent track for Michel Gondry’s “Mood Indigo;” a perfume of the same name went on sale May 15 in select stores.
Le Cinéma Olfactif comes from Kaya Sorhaindo, formerly of Six Scents Parfums. It’s part of his new Berlin- and Paris-based fragrance brand, Folie à Plusieurs, which plans its first major release in September, a scent and artwork collaboration with photographer David LaChapelle.
“What I did with Six Scents was more product driven, whereas what I’m doing now is more experience driven, the process is really the product,” says Sorhaindo. “I’m hoping that through this experience people will be able to connect with the film in a different way, see different things, tap into different emotions.”
Flowers play a key role in Michel Gondry’s 2013 retro-futurist romance, which is based on Boris Vian’s somewhat surrealist 1947 novel “L’écume Des Jours.” In the story, protagonist Colin’s (Romain Duris) beloved wife Chloé (played by Audrey Tatou) becomes ill with a water lily in her lung; part of her treatment requires that she be surrounded by, and even covered with, the freshest of blooms.
But it was the jazz-tinged vibe of the film, called “Mood Indigo” in English, that resonated with Mark Buxton, a music lover who named several scents in his namesake perfume line after iconic songs. Along with lily and freesia, he used top notes of red pepper and chamomile to evoke the madcap start of the film, and its blossoming romance. As the story takes a somber turn, so does its scented soundtrack. “For me - jazz is smoky, it’s incense, it’s a bit mystical, it’s dark, and the film becomes very dark at the end,“ he explained.
A scent diffusion unit created by Scentys Paris was used to release Buxton’s fragrance into the Soho House’s small cinema according to tone and plot of the film for the screenings, which had their debut in April. Presentation will require some fine-tuning; some viewers were perfectly perfumed, while others sniffed the air in vain. But cinemagoers were pleased with their parting gift — 10ml of Mood Indigo edp, along with a Limoges porcelain diffuser strip.
Independent perfumer Buxton was earlier this year tasked with a different kind of film fragrance – L’air de Panache, the on-screen signature scent of Monsieur Gustave, the ultimate dandy at the center of Wes Anderson’s latest film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” L’air de Panache was fleeting — limited to 1,000 bottles, the product was not sold, and is solely to be sniffed at Nose perfumery in Paris, where Buxton is a co-founder.
Le Cinéma Olfactif’s scents will be bit easier to access. A boxed 10-ml fragrance and diffuser set are released for purchase 30 days after each screening. Select perfumeries and concept stores including Breathe Cosmetics in Berlin, Colette and Nose in Paris, LuckyScent in Los Angeles, Assin in Melbourne and Sydney, and Isetan in Tokyo, will sell the scents, as will the Folie à Plusieurs website. The set is priced at 74.95 euros, or about $104.
In June, Le Cinéma Olfactif returns to the screening room with Japanese director Sion Sono’s controversial “Love Exposure,” on a double bill with Buxton, who will now be the project’s exclusive perfumer. The series expands to Soho House London in September, and in December, will have a special presentation at Art Basel Miami.
Buxton, who was given free creative reign for his scent, thinks synesthetic cinema could be a growing trend. “I think Kaya’s on to something here. It hasn’t really been done before. We’ve had some tries - like when you had a little kit in front of you, and then where there were certain scenes in the film then you had to rub something and then you could smell — ‘now it smells like bread, because there’s bread in the film.’ But this is like giving the global picture of the movie,” he said. He’s already named his dream cineaste to scent – “I’d love a wicked fragrance for Tarantino!”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews