There is a new perfume brand, coming from the hands of a Belgian artist. Glenn Bracke was born into a family of silk-screen printers in 1970. He claims to belong to the Art Progressive movement and his first works were exercises on the techniques and style of printing, after studying silk-screen printing and photography. In his twenties, he opened his own printing company called Glenn Tex, which specialised in full colour T-shirt design and print.
After a while, photography started growing in prominence among his investigations, and he started developing works on celebrities and artists, a little bit inspired by Andy Warhol. That's how two of his most famous pieces are works that are inserted into the pop culture and the consumer society. in 2014, Glenn presented his work in Cannes, during the Film Festival. He showed his celebrated piece "Shopping in Paris" at the Niki Beach Club, a work that was selected among 700 candidates for an exhibition at the M Museum in Leuven.
It's this precise artwork that we can see in the box of a perfume Glenn Bracke created with French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour: The Scent of Art. But this image was also printed on a trolley, a chair, a car and a jacket, as well as made into a post stamp. This is Glenn clearly entering the realm of Pop Art and the Nouvelle Figuration movement, with a special focus on objects and references to the world of consumer products. But there is also a concern for environmental issues shown with his work called "Bones" from 2015. Another creation of his was a series of sculptures with real faces on book covers cast in bronze, with the witty name "Face Book."
Concerning the sense of olfaction in his multifaceted work, Glenn Bracke joined creative forces with one of the great scent artists of our time, Bertrand Duchaufour. From this collaboration, two perfumes came out. The Scent of Art, a deep woody composition, and Summer Snow, a fresh marine-aromatic fragrance.
"Glenn Bracke sees himself more as a creative, than an artist. His works often evoke environmental degradation, and his bronze statues often contain a hidden message. One thing is for certain: in his perpetual search for creative innovations, Glenn has taken things to a whole new level. His fragrance named 'The Scent of Art' has enabled him to connect with the world using yet another amazing medium. Glenn looks to his sources of inspiration, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol, both of whom touched upon the creation of scents." - Glenn Bracke Art Progressive book.
With the idea of capturing what art smells like, Bracke and Duchaufour teamed up in countless meetings during a period of a year. Regarding the fragrances: Well, I know that art can have a smell and I am involved in Olfactory Art, also called Scent Art. But I have never thought about the possibility of art, in general, having a smell by itself. However, here we have that smell imagined and put into bottles. It's simply called The Scent of Art and, as Glenn Bracke and Bertrand Duchaufour envisioned it, art smells like woods and balsams, resins and booze.
The Scent of Art is an extremely satisfying fragrance. Despite the deep and semi-dark shades, it is very comfortable and there is an overall sensation of a balsamic/oily artist's studio, with carved woods, paint, oils and a glass of liqueur. The Scent of Art evokes old furniture drenched in rum, and the addition of davana also contributes to that boozy effect. It's a golden fragrance that doesn't change much from the first moment you spray it. One of the reasons for that is the link between all the notes that is present from top to bottom: cistus labdanum (and I would also say Iso E Super). If you like the Comme des Garçons style, this is very much inside the same aesthetic.
It's another of Duchaufour's round and flawless creations, with a persistent and long lasting signature that follows the wearer with a reassuring woodiness; pleasing and embodied, sensual and calming. All the leathery-woody notes, oud and balms could have resulted in a somewhat harsh scent, but this is not the case. It's a rather masculine fragrance that would suit any gender, as long as there is a craving for a timeless scent, like watching an oil painting dry slowly in the studio.
As for Summer Snow, it's a difficult scent for me to properly appreciate in the winter, especially since it is also not my taste: marine, fresh, aromatic. So I guess I will wait for summer days in order to appreciate some refreshment coming from the beautiful white bottle of Summer Snow.
Speaking of bottles, these are simple but luxurious glass squares, heavy and with Glenn's signature in gold lettering. The caps are magnetic and all the very minimalist details are a joy to my eyes.
The Scent of Art
Top Notes: Spanish Cistus Labdanum Essence, Black Pepper, Davana, Rum
Heart Notes: Honey, Karo Karoundé Absolute, Guaiac Wood, Carnation, Clove
Base Notes: Cistus Labdanum, Leather, Patchouli, Musk, Oud Accord.
Article written by Miguel Matos for fragrantica.com