L’Eau du Flaunt

by flaunt

The Scents of Hollywood’s Favorite Fashion Rag as Described by Olfactory Curator Chandler Burr
One could argue that the photos flowing out of it, pulling and pushing the eye across the glossy pages, all these photographic windows into all these precise realities mandate a photo realist fragrance for Flaunt. Photo Realism in scent means reproducing these invisible objects (the smells of things: a sliced green apple, eucalyptus leaves crushed on a sidewalk) with photographic exactitude. You’d photograph (metaphorically of course) the smell of Halston Sage’s long glossy hair captured visually by Frederic Auerbach, the scent of Scott Eastwood’s sun-warmed skin on that bench, the black leather around Sasha Pieterse’s breasts. (Leather perfumes are difficult to carry off today, although Jean-Claude Ellena’s masterpiece Kelly Calèche for Hermès, executed it beautifully. With a Flaunt leather, I think the key would lie in creating a scent equilibrium with the smell of her breasts.)

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.

Elisa Johns. “Flowers & Weeds,” (2005). Oil and Pencil on Canvas on Panel. 54 1/4 X 59 3/4 inches. Courtesy Bonhams.