BitterSuite Workshop 1/4 “Consider Your Nose In Art”

Photo Credit: Kare Khoo

Photo Credit: Kare Khoo

incorporate scent into art.

Part one of a spectacular four piece masterclass series distilling the enormous effort that goes into each BitterSuite performance over months with a wide team from all backgrounds.

When was the last time you smelled your curtains? Not recently? How about a piano cover? Nope? Drum case? I’m not kidding, that’s how I found myself one Friday evening sniffing away at an array of scents carefully crafted by Sarah McCartney, leading perfumer in the sensory world. Her outstanding pink spiky dress should have been enough to warn the first group of BitterSuite masterclass attendees that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary evening in a large open performance hall. Smells, being a key sense that evolved before our sense of language helps explain why it’s so hard to describe or pinpoint that elusive tip-of-your-tongue definition. We travelled around the world bouncing from exotic boudoir, to open spaces, seaside nostalgia and across to sticky pub carpets. Layers of smells were feasted upon. “Invisible art” as Sarah eloquently put it, summed it up well. An invisible voyage, by our noses and imaginations, lead towards heated discussions about whether we liked, didn’t like, remembered or associated these fragrances with anything close to what Sarah was imagining herself when she created them. Those who stayed to the end were treated to a sweetie bag of colourful sample scents to take home and practise sniffing with friends and family to see if they got Sarah’s childhood family “Lion” Cupboard’s woody deep tones or were completely whisked to some other land.

To smell a different “note” to that you might hear, follow your nose and see more smelly antics at the BitterSuite facebook page.

Share your experiences @OpenSensesUK #OpenSenses2017, this experience shared by Natasha Blok.