But one could just as easily argue the diametric opposite. The fantastical stylization of this magazine—the chemical-oranged 1970s Polaroid dream of Bruno Mars, the scent of his cigarette (unseen; its smoke fills his mouth) and his hair gel—you could say this demands a hyper-stylized Flaunt perfume. If Dan Gilroy had commissioned a fragrance for Jake Gyllenhaal to wear while shooting Nightcrawler it might have had the almost alarmingly smooth milky chic of Jasmin Rouge (2011) by artist Rodrigo Flores-Roux. You’d be surprised to know how vast a role milk scent molecules play in contemporary olfactory art. It would have induced the sickly, uneasy awe spun by Maurice Roucel’s 2008 Dans Tes Bras, the wearing of which I think of as drinking tuberose-laced blood.
Or a pure abstract expressionist perfume then. Concepts, not objects. Or objects turned into concepts. Philip B. sent me his Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo. I have it on my desk as I write: an eerie avocado puréed with a peppermint razor blade.
Yet what could surprise more than a floral? In Omar Lagda’s film for Flaunt, Chris Pine finds a bouquet in a Lamborghini. He lays the flowers on the roof. How about a floral perfume for Chris Pine? A very interesting idea for a creative director. But I’d do something else.
For the scent I’d start with a very low dose of gamma-nonalactone. You have to start somewhere; it’s a terrific molecule. A sort of sour tamarind and sweet coconut. Add to that a barley, abstracted. Barley is an underrated scent, somewhere between the scents of beige and tan, equal parts warm and cool. I would try it silken (orris root), roughed up (earthy vetiver), ironed (Nirvanolide®). I would start there and see where it goes.