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Posts tagged “medicine

Perfume Portrait #110 – Clare Smith

Clare Smith 50ml EDT

Head – Sweet Orange

Heart – Clove

Body – Benzoin, White musk, Honey

Description – An ode to the pomander; which contained herbs essential for recovery. Honey symbolises a gold ribbon traditionally used for wearing pomanders as necklaces.

Smith’s Flying over Beijing (Coming in to Land) is a drawing depicting a smog covered Beijing from the air.


Smith’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.

Perfume Portrait #108 – Sharon Mossbeck

Sharon Mossbeck 50ml EDT

Head – Mandarin, peppermint.

Heart – Rose

Body – White Musk, Leather

Description – Embrace life and banish ills with this ode to a plague doctor mask.


Mossbeck’s St Nicholas symbolically references the Patron Saint of sailors. There is a legend that during St Nicholas’s lifetime he appeared to sailors in a storm who prayed to him, and safely helped them to port. This work is part of a larger series of paintings inspired by martyr Saints; drawing on symbolism, myth and traditional iconography.


Mossbeck’s work and corresponding perfume portrait were exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, in October 2019.

Perfume Portrait #48 – Red

Red 50ml EDT20171103_202809

Head – Grapefruit, tea Tree

Heart – Coriander Seed

Body – Frankincense

Description – This fragrance harnesses medicinal tendencies while asserting a compulsion to create. Give this fragrance time and you will discover its hidden depth.

This fragrance was housed at Surface gallery, Nottingham, from 3rd – 18th November.

Confessions of the Thirteenth Star Sign

Somewhere within the administrative and organisational standpoints of conceiving and curating The Court of Love, I managed to create my own work, Zodiac Man:

Zodiac Man is a speculative range of fragrances that each represent signs of the zodiac. It references and exposes the historical connections fragrance has with medicine. Indeed, in a bid to re-establish such connections, each bottle is priced at £8.40 – the current price of an NHS prescription.

A narrative exists within this piece, that suggests the body’s equilibrium – and therefore personal health and wellbeing – can be retained by acquainting yourself with the scent your lover’s star sign. If you don’t have a lover, the scent of Ophiuchus – an historically recognised 13th Star Sign – acts as a facsimile.

However, prolonged acquaintance with the piece may reveal several falsehoods. Chief among them is the fact that Ophiuchus is actually a placebo – it doesn’t contain any of the fragrance oils stated and is in fact just a bottle of scentless sweet almond oil. This may assume that the components of love cannot be meaningfully replicated, and that such a placebo must be prescribed for the psychological benefit of those without love in their lives in order to assume health and wellbeing.

Of course, such a standpoint will differ depending on one’s initial preconception of love and the notion of astrology. After all, the value of each fragrance is not decided by its components, but by the significance we place on it. And in the context of this exhibition, Zodiac Man may reveal an audience’s perception of love, how the implications of love apply to experiences, how relationships are connected to health and how the craft of perfumery has capacity for narrative.

The First Steps Toward Unity

For my exhibition piece for Unity I am going to utilise this first aid box.

My piece will provide individuals with immediate sources of inspiration, which they may use to trigger their own creative actions and establish connections with each other. Placing such objects in a first aid box also gives them immediate context –  symbolising the therapeutic properties of art and suggesting that art can position itself as a healing, bonding force in turbulent times.

For information about how you yourself can submit work to Unity – an open call exhibition devised by myself and Sharon Mossbeck, then click here.