By  on December 2, 2005

NEW YORK — International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. and Visionaire have joined creative forces to introduce Visionaire 47 Taste, a limited-edition art publication that pairs images with flavors.

The effort, which bows this month in high-end bookstores, is a collaboration between IFF flavorists and contemporary artists that is designed to "engage the eyes and the tongue," said Nicolas Mirzayantz, senior vice president of Fine Fragrances & Beauty Care and North America regional manager for IFF.

Visionaire 47 Taste is housed in a black presentation box. Inside, a bound book contains paintings, photographs and conceptual images along with an equal number of tiny cassettes containing taste films, much like the breath-freshening strips on the market. Each cassette corresponds to an image in the book and is adorned with a thumbnail photo of the artwork. To experience the collection, participants place a taste strip on their tongue while viewing the corresponding image.

"As a leader in creativity within our industry, it is our duty to stretch the boundaries and the experience of taste and scent," declared Mirzayantz. He continued that the exercise allowed flavorists to experiment beyond what he called "traditional olfactory territories."

Collaborators include artists Yoko Ono, Thomas Demand, Bruce Weber; surfing legend Laird Hamilton, and master chefs Ferran Adrìa of Spain and Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck in the U.K.

Mirzayantz explained while other forms of delivery were considered, such as pills, liquids and lollipops, the film was ultimately chosen for its practicality, potency and "element of surprise."

The tastes include the familiar, like lemonade and mint, which corresponds with a painting called "Summer"; cherry licorice, which is matched with a photograph called "Youth," and the highly conceptual jet fuel and metal, which accompanies a work named "Adrenaline."

"One of my favorites is 'Exotic,'" said Mirzayantz, referring to a photograph by Nobuyoshi Araki of a flower. "There is so much texture and density, and the notion of skin. It's almost carnal." The accompanying taste, created by Guinevere de la Marguerite, is mango and orange blossom, which imparts a heat sensation on the tongue.

Visionaire and IFF will also introduce their collaboration at Art Basel, which began Thursday in Miami Beach and runs through Sunday. Several flavorists and artists will be on hand at "The Taste Bar" to guide visitors through the experience. On Dec. 10, the pair will open an exhibit, mirroring Visionaire 47 Taste, at the Visionaire Gallery, located at 11 Mercer Street. The exhibit is slated to run through early February.Visionaire 47 Taste marks IFF's second collaboration with Visionaire. Two years ago, they launched Visionaire 42 Scent, an art publication that explored original scents, namely Cold, Noise and Hunger, and included collaborators such as Karl Lagerfeld and David Bowie.

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