May 26, 2015

Ephemera by Unsound: Drone, Noise, Bass

From the Ephemera by Unsound site
Geza Shoen has made three perfumes for a project called Ephemera by Unsound, relating to three pieces of music, with perfumes and music made in such a way as to sensitively reflect each other in a syn-aesthetic way. 

I found the three, Drone, Noise and Bass presented together in a box (at Twisted Lily in Brooklyn) that opened to a lyrical- minimalist presentation. There are references to scent molecules and/or constellations both on the flacons and underneath them, as each is set as a glass rectangle within cutouts in a dark square box. This makes for a beautifully boxed set of perfume that carries layered symbolic meanings within every detail, if you want to find them.  They also come as separate full-size flacons.

photo of my boxed set
by Lucy Raubertas
They are all elegantly beautiful, but my favorite is Drone, described on the site as "...aldehydes and air notes, developing to fir and juniper, with a base of patchouli, ambergris, and vetiver."

 Probably because of the warming season, I am most drawn to this airy brightness, sharpened by edge notes of evergreens, softened by subtle versions of the base, especially the dry vetiver.  

I am glad evergreen notes are being reclaimed for fine perfume.

Drone is the most unisex of the three, and holds the brightness of the evergreen notes closely to the soothing, relaxing and balanced influence of ambergris and patchouli, to hover near the center of the dial, warming up with skin heat.

Noise reflects the strong scent and sound impression made by incense used during religious ceremonies on Catholic church holidays, along with the scents and sounds of bush fire, insect drones and moisture (rain storm scent, I assume) and pays homage to their influential sense-memory powers. Mold, gunpowder, solder, rust, all those specific scents that affect you when you first encounter them as full of the energy of processes that are mysterious but clearly making something change, something happen.

Selected notes listed are aldehydes, ozone, black pepper, saffron, and labdanum, which creates a sum total first impression of a freshly lit match held to a cigarette, later lifting off with a spark of electrical brightness. The depth of the base notes are raised aloft with the strong fresh brightness of sparkling aldehyde, crossed with ozone and the tang that sharpens your the nose from fresh-ground black pepper.

Photo of full size Drone from Twisted Lily
Bass, as appropriate to the name, is the darkest and deepest of the three, and most likely to be perceived as a masculine fragrance, initially. 

This one relates to a burn/smoke of soft grey dust, crossed with animalic musc tones. 

The burn is pleasantly clean in its electrical fire aspect.  The inspiration was a vacuum cleaner that gave off a burning dust smell as it first came on.   

The most predominant notes are listed as woodsmoke and rum, developing into leather, mastic, and tea, and finishing with castoreum and moss. This one opens big but dries down quickly on me, to a soft multi-dimensional musc.

All of these fragrances have a good hold but not an intrusive throw, which is a more modern way to wear fragrance.  The wearer would give an impression of an atmosphere of a life lived making things that involved using sharpened metal tools, and the energy of the elements of water and fire.  That makes perfect sense in an organically electrical combination of this type of modern music with modern perfume, as they sensitively interact with and reference each other.

I intend to experiment with using more than one at a time.  Their cohesive inner style makes them compatible. 

I liked them so much I impulse-purchased the box set at Twisted Lily in Brooklyn.  

Further credits and info from the Twisted Lily site:
Ephemera presents olfactory compositions based on musical resonances and reverberations. The nose behind the project is Berlin-based Geza Schoen, known for the groundbreaking Escentric Molecules series as well as various avant-garde/conceptual scents.
In the first phase of the project, three musicians – Ben Frost, Tim Hecker, and Steve Goodman (aka Kode9) – created raw sonic material which Schoen then reinterpreted to create three different scents: Noise, Drone and Bass. These scents and sounds are now used in an installation environment, and also encapsulated as unique perfumes.
The project is curated and produced by Malgorzata Plysa and Mat Schulz of Unsound.
See the link to the perfume page of the Ephemera by Unsound project for a lot more information and especially to hear and download the music.

Copyright 2015, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.
Images from the Ephemera by Unsound site, Twisted Lily and me.
Quote above from Twisted Lily.

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