Synthesizing Scent I: Matej Martinec

Synthesizing Scent I: Matej Martinec

Our debut fragrance, AIR Eau de Parfum, is pretty special. It’s the first-ever fragrance made from CO2. Created using our AIRMADE™ Technology, it’s a fragrance for humankind, plantkind and all kinds in between. Designed to express itself differently on each person who wears it, AIR Eau de Parfum sits in the fresh olfactive family with notes of orange peel, fig leaf, jasmine, violet, azalea, sweetwater, powdery musk and tobacco.

In the spirit of our technologically-advanced approach to fragrance engineering, we partnered with several artists to develop a series of generative artworks that interpret their experience with our fragrance. Our goal was to embrace an experimental method for translating the scent—a process as unique and inspiring as the fragrance itself. The result is a collection of artworks presenting complex, visceral representations of how AIR Eau de Parfum is interpreted.

The first contribution is from Prague-based artist Matej Martinec. Below, his description of his work.

How to capture a scent? How to depict it. How to materialize it? There are many possibilities—all of them completely subjective. I often approach my work by drastically simplifying concepts. That's why I decided to capture such an abstract thing—smell—through a quasi-material matter that displays the inside of the fragrance down to the atomic level, a vortex of matter.

Without an exterior, there can be no interior. This narrative relationship is also implied in the artwork’s progression, leading us through the whole mix of images one step at a time. The outside; a drop of perfume floating on its own in space. The inside; the essence of fragrance, of matter, of dynamic movement.

This artwork attempts to capture the changing phases of the experience of wearing the scent throughout the day. It doesn't matter when you use the perfume; this progression doesn't change, it's always the same.

At the very beginning, right after the contact with the outside, the scent is luminously green, something artificial, maybe even shocking, but that's only in the initial whiff. The rest of the first phase emerges as fresh and natural. In my work, this materializes into a synthetic green-metallic look with a geometric pattern, something synthetical but natural, green and metal.

Throughout the day, this green changes to an encompassing warm red— a little tangy, like grapefruit, but pleasant. It appears as a red-orange, very saturated organic shape, surrounded by dynamic particles of very intense smell.

Finally, when the fragrance is almost gone, a soothing pastel color comes in, soft and comfortable but definitely not dull. Like an afternoon in nature. It appears as a smooth pastel yellow-blue combined with a dispersive transparent matter that is almost iridescent. A strange extraneous element enters the all-day experience of the fragrance several times, a surprising scent that materializes as a purple color. Though somehow not in complete harmony with the other smells, it always compliments them and draws attention to the primary smells.

While working, I explicitly avoided a classic visual interpretation of an ordinary fragrance. Instead, I asked myself a question: How to visualize change? Because with this fragrance, it's not just about the fragrance itself, it's about its synthetic origins and its message, the use of carbon dioxide to create planetary change. How do you even imagine that? Only new images can show us a different future from the one we already know.

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