FOG

WHATEVER THE WEATHER…

… and does it even matter?

My inner tone is clear and there’s a rare witness in my sphere.

The Fog… In it’s expansion and contraction… it has me.

Has me delicately at his higher action.

This Fog makes me think… I wonder…

I think that the loves I found delightful, poisoned me in a way.

Those pulses and vibes… They were joyful.

I didn’t mind, but now I do.

I mind a self-aware thought, and
I don’t mind…

This foggy weather outside.

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen
Photography by Anny CK

Published in Less Magazine – Slow Clothing Magazine

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PHILOMENA ZANETTI

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HOYLAND, NOLAND AND CARO

Visual art piece is like a novel, it provokes by telling a story. And all novels, of every age, are concerned with the enigma of the self. And I would say that the visual stories are even more selfish and self-motivated. If talking modernism, then there is a trio, three selfish gentlemen who skilfully play with our visual sense by revealing, they are John Hoyland, Anthony Caro and Kenneth Noland.

 

JOHN HOYLAND
John Hoyland, one of the leading abstract painters in Britain, has once said, that paintings are there to be experienced, they are events. They are also to be meditated on and to be enjoyed by the senses, to be felt through the eye. And by this feeling one can experience the forgetting of being. Hoyland’s honesty drags you into his visual world, and six decades of dedicated visualization and fearless self-expression shows his mastery of the abstract art.

In the late 1950s and 1960s being lead by the experience of American Abstract Expressionism John Hoyland became friends Kenneth Noland and Anthony Caro. I keep on feeling that the world is small, and the friendship of these three cross-continental artists is a great example. It was a friendship that lasted and inspired, fed and influenced all three of them. That friendship gave the courage to step onto the next level of self-expressionism.

 

To be a daring creative simply means you’re not afraid of your unique gift and you’ll do anything to channel it into something greater than yourself,
and that is perhaps what can be said to summarize of Hoyland’s contribution into the world of abstract imagery.

 

Both Hoyland and Noland shared an interest in the possibilities offered by the new medium of acrylic paint: acrylic was crucial to Noland’s exploration of paint’s materiality and the possibilities of color, and for Hoyland it was becoming indispensable in enabling him to exploit distinctions between opacity and translucency, in his use of colors and forms and their dispositions.

 

KENNETH NOLAND
Kenneth Noland is probably one of the best-known American Color Field painters, although in the 1950s he was thought of as an abstract expressionist and in the early 1960s he was thought of as a minimalist painter. I would say that Kenneth Noland is funky and playful, and at the same gracefully minimal. His works are definitions of modernism.

One of my favorite pieces by Noland, Extent (1959), differs in it’s extent, from a shape and color selection, to the concentration point. It’s edgy yet warm, and friendly. It’s welcoming.

 

Hoyland, Noland and Caro are similar, and yet so different, each one of them is a complete artist in itself. With their own narrative mode, they are never making a scene, they’re just being themselves. 

The friendship of Caro and Noland had first begun in 1959 when Caro found his ideas sharpened by his encounters with the American artist, who was a leading figure among the post-painterly abstraction painters. Already well established as an important color-field painter and figure in the Washington Colour School, Noland left an indelible impression on his British peer with his commitment to the exploration of color’s psychic and phenomenological effects through serialized forms. The encounter had its influence on Caro’s practice, turning him away from the figurative style toward the kinds of geometric forms he had seen in Noland’s work.

 

ANTHONY CARO
Anthony Caro’s abstract sculptures challenge the irrational forces of the viewer’s soul. Caro violates the solitude of the viewer with his forms and transforms. His modernist works are usually characterized by assemblages of metal using ‘found’ industrial objects. And require advanced depth of feeling and meaning behind kind of a liquid architectural balance.

Caro’s sculptures are about contingencies and specifics: they evoke very particular emotions, thoughts and feelings depending upon the act of looking.

Helen Keller once said, that true friends never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart. From the mid-1960s onwards, the three artists continued to have a lively awareness of each other’s work and maintained their friendship, meeting on both sides of the Atlantic, and keeping on perfecting their craft.

Hoyland, Caro and Noland all emerged in the wake of the first generation of the New York School and sought to continue the legacies of their abstract forebears. There is a great deal of reflection, study, experience, and passion behind it, but their tone is never serious, it is provocative.

 

Anthony Caro, John Hoyland, Kenneth Noland will explore the matrix of concern: color, form, material and working in series. A selection of work by each artist from the 1960s and 1970s will be exhibited in PACE London gallery, 20 November 2015 – 16 January 2016

 

 

Written by by Julia Ahtijainen
Published on LE MILE magazine

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THE CITY OF SCENTS

In an age of content overload and ingredient-heavy concepts, the thirst for simplicity within scents remains strong aka why we don’t appreciate anymore our grandmother’s heavily powdery perfumes and mom’s Chanel No 5. Instead, we’re running into the woods with hair messed by the fresh breeze.

 

A PERFUME…

Word ‘perfume’ equals ‘Paris’. Or at least this is the city that comes up first when talking perfumery. And Paris has been always associated with luxury. My logic compounds here a formula Perfume = Paris = Luxury.

Back in the days, when perfumery was a real luxury, it required time to recognize, concentrate and learn, time to enjoy. Epicurean Madame Pompadourish lifestyle and mentality. Time to drink champagne and stay up all night, not caring about the duties of the next day. Just the joy of being. And the scents, according to the market and culture, the market culture, were powdery, heavy, velvety, dark and complex. Scents required time. As well as the poems, literary texts and paintings. Everything required time.

But the word ‘perfume’ derives actually from the Latin word ‘perfumare’, meaning “to smoke through”, and referring to a communication – sending messages through the smoke of incents full of myrrh and amber. And the art of making perfumes began in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, and was later developed by the Romans and Persians. So, the history of perfumes starts with smoke. And where’s a smoke, there’s a fire… and metal, an establishment of industries and progress of the city. And the city smells.

 

Rudyard Kipling has said that the first condition to understand a foreign country is to smell it. What is a city beyond the way it looks and the way it sounds? The smell identity of a city is as unique as your smell identity. It’s a signature. Composed of the plenty – climate, people’s habits, what they eat, traffic, pollution etc. The smell identifies the city.

In that case Chicago is safe and sexy, because it smells like chocolate. Every now and then when I walk to work I register this rich and pleasant smell of chocolate. It puts a smile on my face, it triggers my childhood memories – the time when everything was safe, life was easy and a chocolate was the main reward. What a rewarding feeling living in this city, right?

And people here… They prefer sweet scents as well. Sweet and light scents. Nothing that could be compared with previously mentioned sophisticated Parisian scents and perfumery classics like Guerlain’s Shalimar.

 

…IN THE CITY

People’s taste patterns have slowly, but surely changed over time. To view nowadays trends, one must get away from niche and look at the average. And the average prefers the sweet and the fresh. The average prefers their laundry to smell like “rainforest” and their hair to smell like “sweet strawberries”. Patchouli is weak, and musk is about to die. The average prefers scents with multiple headnotes, something in the middle and the base that won’t disturb anyone. The average loves to re-fresh itself. Chemist, artist and odor collector Sissel Tolaas stated that we are born with a deodorant in our hand: we have no chance to find out how to smell. She also points out that America is famously deodorised, sanitised, and scent-camouflaged, all ‘for your protection’ and by doing that, a lot of important information is removed. Tolaas says that in the modern West we tend to think of smell in purely aesthetic terms, pleasant or unpleasant, while in many other cultures smells have provided and still provide a basic means of defining the interacting with the world. As a part of her research she’s bottling the smells of cities around the world and creating complex “smellscapes”.

 

Smell is the most primitive, and yet the most underrated sense. Odors are closely associated with identity and in the study of the history, anthropology, and sociology of smells we recognize that it’s the investigation of the ‘essence’ of human culture itself.

And a perfume is just a sign. A sign to investigate within the culture system. The primary definition of a perfume is that it is a mixture of fragrant essential oils, fixatives and solvents used to give the human body, objects and living spaces “a pleasant scent”. In the living space of the city, perfumes are used to seduce and to manipulate. Perfume is a devious sign that has entered the commercial world as a meaningful must-have product. It is a part of consumer society, a sign that shapes and defines the identity of a city guy.

As lifestyle and culture shifts happen, trends change. And we can speak about the trends within perfumery world as well, within the scent market. It is undoubtedly difficult to capture the hearts and minds of luxury consumers, especially when the market is so flooded. Still, as mentioned in the beginning of this text, the thirst for simplicity is growing. Along with artsy health-conscious foodie crowd, Scandinavian design followers, and craft cocktail enthusiasts, perfumistas and colognisseurs stay conscious and go along with the overall trend of slowing down and choosing more and more green-colored paths.

And if talking the future scent, then hopefully, we will move away from the sweet stuff. The future scent will be probably less recognizable, less disturbing, more grassy, big city grassy (picture Highline in New Yowk City), light and youthful. Evergreen. It will be clean, pleasant and acceptable scent, with a hint of herbs or quality alcohol.

 

THE GREEN LUXURY IN THE CITY WITH A SHOT OF STRONG

The return of the classics, the rise of craft cocktails and interest in quality beverage makes it possible for alcohol-inspired and infused scents to step into the scene. For example, sensual with notes of leather VSOP by Tom Daxton, or Speakeasy by Frapin that is inspired by the prohibition era and Cuban cigars, and Spirit of the Glen by HYLNDS are definitely the ones to try. Nature, crisp Nordic air and the trend of Scandinavia Light will make more room for fragrances like Byredo, that has already found loyal following among city trotters appreciating urban chic, mainstream and off-city at the same time. Modern, edgy, a bit mainstream and very urban – all in the right proportions – Comme des Garcons will stand strong with it’s steel and architectural scents, cool, clean and grey. And if to choose more artsy path, then fearless ones will go for Andrea Maack’s creations, perfumes that smell like Iceland. Artist herself is searching for “the idea of a non-fragrant fragrance,” as she muses in her latest interview given to i-D magazine. Or Blackbird’s Broken Glass, more city avant-garde scent that desires the attention of the wearer to find beauty in broken things.

Hard to recognize, but I tend to think about scents more or less now, maybe even more… The reason might lay in being tired of the image-saturated communication channels and ways. The city is too noisy, visible and visual… it’s too obvious. We’re forgetting here other ways to communicate – the tone of voice, the body language and the scents. Which all are very personal. True enjoyment of a fragrance lies in the very subjective experience you can gain from it and latest scent research has revealed that the sense of smell is even more intricate than previously thought, and that smelling is one of the best exercises for the brain.

 

Perfumery requires master level of execution and detail. People of talent and cultural knowledge. One of the perfumes that definitely rocked my world and life in the city was Bergamask by Orto Parisi. Actually, the whole range of the scents by this brand are mind-blowing! Alessandro Gualtieri’s rebellious intention, artisanal vision and emphasis on quality ingredients is worth investigating and… wearing. Before Bergamask, I didn’t realize how much we could rely on a perfume to set the stage, create a mood and emphasize all that remains unspoken. I enjoy that Bergamask is weird, and it calls for weird reactions… “Smells like a creature,” as one of my friends said. And it takes days to learn it: on the skin, on the clothes, in a room… It’s bright yet dark, complex and straightforward, citrus-heavy statement with a heavy dose of mind-blurring musk. This perfume pulls you out from your aromatic comfort zone. A definite show-stopper, creating moments and stories. It’s a scent that haunts and makes you think and see things differently. Bergamask shows it’s creator’s unapologetic style and is definitely bold addition to the niche perfumery scene.

 

Smell is all about recognition and thought. Which is all just a spray away…
Simple pleasures are not indulgences, they are necessities.

 

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen
Published in Aesthetist Magazine

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HORWEEN LEATHER

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SCENTS AND SPIRITS IN THE NIGHT

Smell is our most primitive sense that is connected with creativity, memory and emotions. It also impacts and directs the sense of taste by up to 80-90% and is the only sense triggering the strange moment of deja vu.
So, when a friend of mine decided to throw a fusion event of wine tasting and perfume sensing, I felt a contradiction and concurrence at the same time.

What do perfumes and wine have in common?
A woman.
And her name is Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon I and the first Empress of the French. Also the first to revolutionize the state of scents and wines in Europe.

 

But before we start smelling, tasting and fusing, let’s agree upon the basics. One can register five basic taste categories which are sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. And also five basic smell categories: floral, nutty, spicy and fruity. Thus, all the other descriptive words about flavors and smells derive from literature, personal experiences or just lavish imagination and free set of mind.

 

THE EVENT

In the very beginning of this occasion different scents were already circulating and changing the atmosphere. I must admit that the welcoming glass of champagne invited the spirit of Dionysus into the room, and then I thought, made a decision – let the scented wanderlust begin!

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The selection of drinks and scents was nothing if not versatile:

We started with two scents Peche Cardinal by Parfums MDCI and Les Liquides Imaginaires Dom Rosa accompanied by 2006 Champagne Cuvée “Memory” AC, Veuve Doussot, France. The light woodiness of the drink, betrayed it’s content of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. Dom Rosa caught the attention with birch and light notes of rose, a very tender and feminine scent. And the sweetness of Peche was easy to register and understand for all of us.

Curators of the evening Kai and Brigitty agreed that one of the touchpoints between wines and perfumes is how one should store them: away from the sunlight, in the right setting with the right temperature – wines as perfumes open up within the warm air.

For a second course we had the combination of Olfactive Studio Ombre Indigo and 2012 Viognier “Verite” VDP d’Oc, Laurent Miquel, France. An interesting dialogue in between earthy honey-floral wine, and leathery scent of plums and papyrus. Here half of the participants fell in love with the scent and with Kai, after she stated that perfumes should be used everywhere.
And everyone was impressed after a power couple Nasomatto Narcotic V and 2013 Riesling “Scharzhofberger” VDP Grosse Lage, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Germany marched into the room. There was no way back anymore. This aromatic, juicy and and simply beautiful Riesling added electricity to the scent that was inspired by the Brazilian flower called Monguba.

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Things got only better after that. Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire and my beloved 2009 Barbaresco “Asij” DOCG Piemonte, Ceretto, Italy added another level to this cozy symposium. The scent of Chambre Noire was inspired by the wine, it is a cold and calm scent with sophisticated concentration on pine-needles and saffron. A perfect complement to the taste of grown-up Nebbiolo. Convincing conversation in between those two!

We were impressed and Kai’s unapologetic style of curating the products was one of a kind. While she was mentioning the must-do smell-terrors, we moved on to rich and spicy levels. The combination of world’s best sandalwood blend in Corso Como 10 Corso Como ingredients with silky and playful 2012 “Platinum Latitude” Stellenbosch, Lyngrove, South Africa was positively surprising.

And for the last two ones, we wrestled with the heavyweight originals. Elegant layers of rich and oily O’Hira by Stephane Humbert Lucas 777 and Cognac ABK6 XO Single Estate “Family Reserve”, Domaines Francis Abecassis, France was a testament of the drink-making with a real winemaker’s approach – single estate. Once again a splendid combination!

Last but not least, and definite winners were madame Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Eau Absolue and monsieur Liquore di Limoni di Sicilia, Limonio, Italy. A smell of honey, a peel of lemon, traditional lemon tart… Not powdery but a bit dusty, a time-kissed scent. And the terrific taste of this wonderful limoncello with a spicy reverence at the end was The Great End.

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My conclusion? Simply, things that appeal to the mouth appeal to the nose as well, and vice-a-versa. And as a scent can unwrap the story of a person wearing it, just as the clothing, so as the choice of a drink can tell some. These two are more creative and subconscious forms of communication… or maybe even tools of persuasion?
There’s a story in every bottle.
In vino veritas = In perfume veritas

PS – This epiqurean night was followed by the private sparkling hour (or two), giving each one of us ideas and thoughts for the future… And I Thank You!

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen
Photography by Ardo Kaljuvee

I’M LEAVING… I’M MOVING

“The word ‘charm’ really means 3 things: first, movement from place to place.”
– A. Firenzuola

 

It’s 5 am in the morning and it’s warm outside. The sun is rising and the birds are singing, last house beat is still ringing in my ears, and my legs… there’s a considerable amount of pain in my legs. But I feel fine, I feel happy.
Happy that this shit is over. I’m stepping out of the nightclub, where I had to play disco in the VIP room, being surrounded by the ugliest and probably the fanciest people of this town. I shall put the word ‘ugly’ in bold though.
Do you know how ugly people can get when they’re uber-drunk and feel free revealing their miserable alter-egos? Anyway, I was surrounded by the very-very-very ugly and bad people that night.

He finished his gig next door and so we are driving back home now. Drinking our hot chocolates on the way, because otherwise I’d be voiceless again. Yup, after having my tonsil surgery done I tend to loose my voice by the end of the party and the only solution is pretending to be a hip green hippie and drinking tea with honey. But they don’t have any decent teas at the gas stations. So, we’re driving, sipping our mouth-burning hot chocolates, and share the moments of staring each other straight into the eyes. He knows, from the very moment he looks into my eyes. He sees all my plans. He knows me too well.

– I’m going to Florence tomorrow.
– Why?
– On business.
– Is it a romantic tryst?
– Same difference.
Silence. A brief moment of silence… and understanding.
– Is it all worth it? Do you have to go? There’s no doubt that you’ll manage… You’ll manage everywhere. But do you have to? Do you really want to?
– I guess so… What else would I do.

Silence. A silent agreement on the both sides. We’ll stay always in touch anyhow. And a sweet aroma of hot chocolate stays in the car when I step out to go home, to pack my bags and hit the road. Leaving one truly important problem unsolved: what should I wear? All in all it’s Pitti, the crème de la crème of menswear. And I’m a female-buyer for menswear shop. But somehow I don’t care. I got too much going on in my head. I got too many decisions to be made within next few months.

 

 

FLORENCE…
I like Florence a lot. No, I love Florence!
Because Florence smells so good, and people here know how to enjoy life. There’s a scent of excitement, bits and pieces of beautiful history on every corner. Florence smells like quality leather, freshly baked Bruttiboni, like a glass of Chianti at it’s best, sand and sun, and a flirty blink towards all antique.
And Florence is clean, way cleaner than Paris.
I have no plans for tonight, so after settling in I take my traditional people-watching walking tour. It’s Friday night and it’s busy. You see a lot of happy and relaxed faces, there’s no place for Scandinavian cold seriousness. People are having fun, they’re laughing, they’ve left all their problems at the office or home. And they celebrate… LIFE!
I pick out the spot on the corner of Spirito Piazza. I sit down and I wait. I’m seeing him again. He comes, eyes attached to his phone screen, probably googlemapping or texting me to ask for an exact meeting place.
This time I’m cool, I enjoy watching him from far away. A bit helpless, though well-dressed. I bet he’s wearing Costume Nationale ‘Homme’ to impress me and to stress spending time together in Italy. Catching up, meeting for a drink, or whatever the label one puts on this inexpressible thing – the vulgarity of the heart.

He recognizes me and gives me one of those looks. He’s not harmless anymore. He is aware, he steps into his role. The game begins. I flash a big charming smile – What’s up, Tiger? He walks closer. His jacket is unpretentious – it looks like any other Italian cashmere jacket – but, as it’s me and my lynx eyes, I can tell its tailor-made. Probably Canali. He looks good. That exact classy Italian suit-up guy who upsets the hormonal systems of both – fat American women in Nike’s and skinny Scandinavian hipsters in New Balances, or Adidas, or whatever – all sportswear everywhere.

So, we went for a drink. We talked fashion and business. He tried to ask personal questions. But what for? Dude, you have a girlfriend back home!
Paul Sartre said once that seduction is a fascinating language. So I take this walk and talk as a repeat course on semiotics of linguistics. I thank and send my love once again to Roland Barthes in my mind.
Venus favors the bold. And seduction is more an art, than science, requiring different mixes for different people. He fails and falls this night.

I walk back to my apartment.
Receiving explanations via iMessages a’la: “You know I’m more playful… I just enjoy spending time with different people and acting on it is very different… And u flirt back well too! You know I just felt that you’re someone I can do anything with… And I’m cool with being platonic.”
Ahh! And I’m thinking that – don’t love me for my bigger breasts, love me for my grounded and hard-working nature. Don’t love me for my charisma, love me for my truth-revealing skills. I won’t say anything to anyone. I’m bored. I go to sleep. There’s a lot of work to be done within next few days at the fair and I’m leaving shortly after.

Whatss!? Fries and McDonalds!? Yup, the welcoming scents at O’Hare airport. I’ve arrived to the States, I’m switching on my telephone and I receive a text from him: “I can’t really help a lot in this decision right now when I’m 7-8 drinks in. But I basically support any decision that involves you coming back here.”

True colors open up when viewing from a distance, when one sees the whole picture. But sometimes it’s too late. And who cares more afterwards?

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen

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PITTI UOMO 88 FAVOURITES

Pitti Uomo is an international fashion event for gentlemen. It takes place in beautiful Florence, the capital of Toscana region in Italy. The event has it all – the good old and the new upcoming brands, creative projects and collaborations, catwalks, after-show-time events. It’s The Event when it comes down to menswear.

Pitti Uomo is like an Italian gentleman – sharp in style, good mannered, hot natured and welcoming. An Italian who welcomes warmly all his local and international friends, guests and also the new faces. And if talking international friends, we picked out some to look definitely out for:

 

MERZ B. SCHWANEN
Merz b. Schwanen is a unique find from Germany. A brand that is managed by a lovely couple – Peter and Gitta Plotnicki. Peter, who is also a dedicated vintage fashion collector, is pure in his approach and Gitta is always simply into high quality. Brand’s uncompromising products are the perfect examples of the “old way of crafting clothes”. Being driven by the passion for traditional fabrication processes, they produce all their garments in Swabian Mountains on the authentic German loopwheelers origin back to 1920’s-1960’s. All pieces are modified for modern wear, some being inspired by vintage work wear and army pieces, some being more contemporary. Cotton fabrics, buttons, labels, hangtags, and even the packaging are all German-made. And one can also find in their new collection rare Spoerry certificate cotton items. Sharing is caring and it’s the high-quality goods that they share.

 

HANSEN
If detecting the power-couple brands, then we were blown away by the refreshing Nordic breeze that entered the room with Hansen Garments brand. People behind the brand are Aase and Per. Hansen is a Scandinavian brand that values Nordic craftsmanship and the idea of effortless confidence. In response to fast trends and throwaway pieces, they create thoughtful garments meant to last, using quality textiles that age with rugged grace. While talking products, Per is excited about his two-sided pants, which by wearing and aging will reveal their other indigo side. Pure in style and color, Hansen garments are easy to mix and wear. The brand embodies simple, honest and democratic designs for everyday life.

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MAHIOUT
What’s the life and style without the practical accessories, right? A brand that grabs us with their aesthetics and functionality is called Mahiout. Items that are created and crafted to provide a lifetime of use and satisfaction. Mahiout leather bags and accessories are crafted in traditional workshops, with carefully selected materials like premium vegetable tanned leather, military grade cotton and solid brass fittings, crafted with passion and attention for quality and details. This Norwegian brand is managed by an amazing, soon-to-be mom of the two – Linda Mahiout. We meet her together with her husband and charming son Leon at the show. Young gentlemen speaks already four languages – French, English, Polish and Norwegian. And we all predict him a very bright future. They are strong and always together. It is not just a power couple thing you see there, it’s a family affair and the dignity behind it all.

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PRIVATE WHITE V.C.
If the third day of the show is usually quiet, then there’s a booth full of people, laughs and good-looking men. There are the Brits and the Americans discussing business and we’re welcomed to the Private White booth, a room full of British humor, charm and quality products constructed by hand in Manchester. Using only regionally sourced fabrics, trims and materials, the items are based on classic wartime pieces, being updated with added functionality and detail for the modern man. Private White V.C. brand pays homage to its namesake WWI hero Private Jack White. Brand’s creative director, people’s watcher and as we hear and see – a voguing enthusiast Nick Ashley is full of surprises. His designs are influenced by Private Jack White’s wardrobe and classic military garments, as well as his passion for motorcycle and car racing. So, gentlemen, you should pay a proper attention towards this up-and-ruling brand.

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CROOTS
Last but not least – Mr Allistair Croots, the king of the best gentlemen bags and a music guru. Mr Croots is hip without mentioning, guys show respect towards him and all love his products – from the businessmen to the members of the British Royal family. Croots style is very much of the English Heritage life, being a family business established in 1978 by Jackie Croots parents. Brand uses only the best natural materials like English Bridle leathers, heavy waxed canvas and Swiss made zips. Their new Vintage canvas range of bags is a perfect example of the company’s values and direction. Croots is a must-have – functional, high quality British classics with signature red linings and zips.

 

Pitti Uomo is an experience of inspiration.
This year’s show main theme was all about the color, and the area was full of people, color-conscious gentlemen and other clearly vivid personalities. We enjoyed our stay in Florence to the fullest, hope you did too.

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen
Photography by Anny CK
Published in FSHM magazine

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INFINITO SAYS

INFINITO OR MORE KNOWN AS THE NOSE, MR ALESSANDRO GUALTIERI IS AN ARTIST WITH A CAPITAL ‘A’, WHOSE LIFE COULD BE READ, LEARNED AND FOLLOWED THROUGH HIS PERFUMES. RAW, PURE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD – THE SHIT GETS REAL WHEN ONE GETS A DOSE OF HIS SCENTS. AND I MEAN “SHIT” IN MANY DIMENSIONS AND MEANINGS WITHIN THIS WRITING.

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THE NOSE IS CRAZY

Mr Alessandro Gualtieri visited Crème de la Crème Tallinn Boutique to share some about his perfumes, and was also asked about life and style. In 2007 he launched his own perfume line called “Nasomatto” meaning in Italian “crazy nose”. The perfume range that contains rather scandalous and sexy names is definitely one of a kind, it is truly controversial and at the same time extremely attractive. The ingredient-related information is almost missing on the packaging, and your usually long and sophisticated product stories are replaced with a few hitting sentences.

The Nose is keeping it simple. You have to feel and figure it out all by yourself. Work with your imagination, memories, senses and fantasies.

So we worked on and sniffed those nine highly addictive odors, meet –

DURO is a pleasantly hypnotic scent that enhances all the manifestations of male strength, it is about sweat and being a man;
ABSINTH is about giggles and fun, it was born during the secret absinth parties, the content of this bottle is irresponsible and a bit hysteric;
NARCOTIC V where the letter ‘V’ stands for Venus, is an elixir of attraction, calling out overwhelming female sexual power;
HINDU GRASS is about patchouli – patchouli here, patchouli there, patchouli almost everywhere, it is the scent that circulates around the belief in universal peace, love, and warm affection of humanity;
SILVER MUSK rolls onto the stage like quicksilver, it is about the uncatchable dreams and fantasies. Interesting fact is that many people can’t smell it, it is the odor of a super-hero;
PARDON dives into nostalgia of gentlemen clubs, masculine elegance and charm, it challenges the inside dandy.
And now drumrolls, please, one of the signs – BLACK AFGANO – the perfume that actually started my relationship with haute parfumerie. It took Mr Gaultieri six years of smoking, scenting and creating the perfume, it’s about the first hit, about the best quality of Hashish, that gives you that temporary bliss;
CHINA WHITE invites you on a journey and reveals the strength of fragility.
Last but not least – BLAMAGE is about the failure and acceptance of the fact, it’s the renewal of one’s mindset. It is about moving on and opening new doors.
Recent documentary “The Nose – Searching For Blamage” shows it’s viewers the journey towards the scent of a perfect failure. Our expectations are often unmet and we’re often disappointed. We make mistakes and these mistakes work like keys towards progress. Blamage is about the acceptance and a new start. Actually a restart, because we are constantly moving on our paths anyhow.

Does Mr Gualtieri wear those perfumes himself?
The answer is “No” and the explanation is easy. These perfumes are in the history. They are his history. “What’s in the past is in the past. It’s done,” he says. He lives in the moment and prefers to write his memoirs in the scents. “Like for example this is what I’m working on,” he stretches his nail-colored hand and I detect the strongly hypnotic, sweet and bold aroma.

 

IT’S THE SHIT

As our meeting goes on, and we have finished with Nasomatto, the expressive Italian grabs my hand and says: “That’s a sign! What are you doing tonight!?” Pointing at my infinity tattoo. A sign? A sign of a couple of things. A sign of his new project called Orto Parisi and a sign of his middle school nickname Infinito.

Here we get to the point that Alessandro’s discourse around the project is all about “the shit”. He puts it in a funny closing: “The idea behind it is that there should be a bit of shit everywhere.”

With Orto Parisi the perfumer gets raw. He goes towards raw senses, freshness and the body. In and out of the body. Parisi was a name of his grandfather, who used to collect his feces in the buckets to later fertilize the soil of his garden.

“But let’s be honest, it all started from my anus. I was really obsessed with it. I’ve been photographing it and /…/ It was important for me also to get back to the ground, to the roots and the freshness of the raw. Back to the earth where it all started,” explains Mr Gualtieri.

With his new project, The Nose wanted to create something that is also connected with the human soul. He says that for him all the hidden parts of the body that carry more smell connect to the soul. These smells are the mirrors of the soul.

Orto Parisi perfumes have long formulas, and they tend to change and develop over time, depending on a body, skin type, and of course the persona wearing them. Please welcome –
STERCUS where the shit plays the main role, being the indication of healthiness;
BOCCANERA meaning “dark mouth” is all about the quality chocolate;
BRUTUS is brutal and imbued with alcohol, being very appealing to Russian women;
the winner of our hearts is VIRIDE that is green, luxury-green;
and the scent that I pick up and am hypnotized by for the next 24 hours is BERGAMASK, a cologne-based scent that changes and develops, swirls around the body slowly creating a strong and mysterious cobweb of aroma.

Orto Parisi collection is more than simply impressive. It’s a work of art.

 

thenose_2-2

THE NOW IS ART

What is now?
“Now is about art,” says The Nose. The art of experience. For Mr Gualtieri now is about “getting out of the bottle”, sharing scented experiences and impressing the public audience and himself through scented happenings and performances. The Nose is planning in the near future to set up public olfactive installations in collaboration with other artists and cultural activists.

Being sort of a observer and sociologist on his own, he has been also testing people and their perceptions. For example he has been wearing the most disturbing and disgusting scents while riding elevator up and down to detect people’s reactions.

“My work is always about attraction and rejection. Otherwise it would be boring. I want people to experience it with me. These feelings give me the freedom to create without the limits,” says Mr Gualtieri.

Perfumery is first and foremost about the feeling. The feeling without any meaning-borders. The Nose exemplifies: “Perfume is about the feeling. If I wake up and feel feminine, I put on a feminine perfume or wear pink… Or whatever. I mean most people aren’t creative at all; they are technical people – the hardware guys. I got to where I am because of who I am. I don’t believe in plans and deadlines… You work, see what happens, feel and adapt. You progress along with your work.”

 

 

One spray in the name of perfumery and another to celebrate the creativity and individuality. Cheers! We take our last shots and agree: “Next time in Amsterdam!”

Thank you, Alessandro and Rita for such an inspiring day and enlivening evening, dear Kai for the extravaganza and professionalism, and warm regards to the lovely Crème de la Crème Tallinn Boutique team.

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen

ACTION IS CHARACTER

She wanted to escape. She planned the escape.
Not too far away, just a simple family visit to get back to the roots, re-fresh the thoughts and re-fuel the energy.
The bus was leaving at 9 am and guess who woke up at 8.30!? But she managed.
The weather was shit and she felt like shit, super-sleepy, greasy haired and no make up. Luckily, the bus trip was long enough to freshen up – some powder here and there, a touch on black mascara, and a splash of a spicy signature fragrance. As the morning started to fade away, first rays of sunshine appeared and the mood was getting all right. It was this morning full of power. Will-power. Those were the mornings being on the road, alone, with her thoughts. Thoughts and observations, and that never-ending sharp environment detection.
It was a power-therapy morning. It was a sober view on the beings and doings, people and values, the surroundings. It was evaluation.
Outside was freezing, the frosty winter-air played back to back with warm rays of sunshine. A creative balance. She put on her headphones on and tuned in the new Ghettoblaster show. Sunshine, good music and good thoughts – that was all what she needed to feel happy. To feel alive, to feel real again. 

. . .

 

See, our whole culture is constructed upon narratives like this. Due to the growing number of narratives thriving around us, the human being is losing his sense of the moment, the here and now, his animal presence and perception… Now think.
Thinking.
Over-thinking.
Constant goal-setting and imagining the things, situations, possibilities, characters, maybe even better opportunities. But that’s all not real and might even never become a reality.

Bummer.
What a drag, right!? The fail of the high expectations…
And suddenly, the story of our life, the real narrative becomes boring. Too ordinary, too gray. Only one shade of gray instead of fifty. Too everyday. Too confined and limited. Although limits set the rules, which to play by. And to be honest, every day offers us something special and remarkable, something worth remembering, cherishing and being happy about. And it takes only time and effort to recognize those little things of everyday life.

The little things count. The moments that make us feel happy and love the life that we’re living. I had a moment at work, while passing the buzzling restaurant side. At a certain time of the day, the sun shines just right through the flowers and our yellow glass wall so that everything and everybody swims in the waves of warm sunshiny hues, even if it’s freezing outside. So it was that time of the day and the sun was shining and we had a full-house. I was rushing towards the bar to grab a glass of water and just glimpsed towards the restaurant. There was a family and a girl-child, about 1 year old, sitting and observing her surroundings. The moment she looked at me, the bright sunrays shined through her pure blond hair and her frank blue eyes, that were smiling and telling me more than her cute little mouth. I think this moment made my day. Not the overall success while organizing the events and my writings being approved – the casual multi-tasking. But just this moment, lasting barely for half-a-minute. It still haunts me. The moment after which you start to recognize and appreciate more the simple pleasures and moments that everyday life offers us. These moments shouldn’t get lost, they should be recorded and reminded to one’s self… When the hard times hit.

 

 

Leo Buscaglia said once, that too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

That’s true.

Life’s too short, and what really makes life longer is the understanding that we are making history from the moment we get up in the morning till we go to bed at night. Its also not only the things that we do, it’s also the things we don’t do.

We have a choice, which is entirely ours. Freedom is a mental state.

Happiness too. And small actions are important, our daily routines, the establishments of our values. It’s totally up to us to decide what we do, what we think (or not) and who we are.

And it’s not about the social status, online profiles or new Instagram photos. That’s all an online culture constructed identities and symbolic narratives that we surround ourselves with. We operate upon signs and surround ourselves with all kinds of different symbol systems. Which is okay, okay until we read and interpret them right, understand the signs. And what is even more important – to know when and how to turn it all off. Step out and be with our real self. One on one, frankly in contact.

 

 

What’s important in life is the contact, the real life, presence, real emotions and impressions, real friends and family… The family. Family has power. Families are different, it can be our father and mother, brothers and sisters, family can consist of a bunch of close friends. The people. Our people. Our community and support. The support that money cannot buy. Support and respect. And gratefulness. Not the image, the role… the cool and hip places we all work at, or the parties we attend and talk sophisticated design and swag talks. Business… Business is always about being all nice, nice business. But nice isn’t enough considering the short lifetime given to us. Nice won’t make us stand.

And if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

So let’s not fail anymore and remember that what’s really important is the real life contacts and real life actions. As my all-time favorite quote goes: “Action is character.” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen