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Perfume & Poetry

  • Fumerie Parfumerie 3584 Southeast Division Street Portland, OR, 97202 United States (map)

Several months ago longtime customer and fellow perfume enthusiast Patrick Rogers pitched an interesting idea. He was in the process of applying to the MFA program at Portland State University and found out that he was just two credits shy of completing his undergraduate degree. His solution was truly inspired: he organized a poetry workshop that would be based entirely around writing poetry about perfumes. That catch was that neither he nor any of the other participants would know anything about the fragrances about which they were writing.

This sort of blind sampling has become quite popular in recent years. The most notable example of this smelling exercise is Chandler Burr's Untitled Series—an ongoing collaboration between Burr and LuckyScent wherein customers are able to purchase decants of commercially-available fragrances in unlabeled bottles. The idea behind these exercises is that our impressions of fragrances are colored by the designer, the bottle, the packaging, the name of the scent and how it is marketed. By stripping away all of these external influences, one can truly focus on what really matters: the way that the fragrance smells.

In keeping with this tradition, we provided Patrick with a series of unlabeled sample vials. Each week, Patrick would give us a prompt and we would curate a selection of fragrances. Each vial was labeled with a number which corresponded to a key in a sealed envelope. Patrick would then take the samples to his writing workshop and distribute them amongst the group. The resulting poems are honest and raw depictions of olfactory art. Stripped away from the noise of marketing and packaging, the results are fascinating and oftentimes surprising.

Join us for an evening of Perfume & Poetry on December 1st as Patrick and all of the members of his poetry workshop share the fruits of their labor at Fumerie Parfumerie's boutique on SE Division Street. As each poem is read, we will pass around the fragrances that served as inspiration. In keeping with the nature of the project, the names of the fragrances will be revealed after the poems are read and the audience has a chance to weigh in with their own thoughts about each composition.

If you are interested in attending this event, please sign up below. Refreshments will be available at the event. Space is limited so sign up today!

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Earlier Event: November 18
An Evening with Andy Tauer