Thursday, June 23, 2016

Scent in Film: Master of Perfume


When was the last time you saw a video for a perfume brand that felt like poetry? Mi7 Cairo created Master of Perfume for Abdul Samad Al Qurashi (specialists in Oud fragrances) and did a brilliant job of speaking to the mystery of scent and scent creation; literally. The video manages to do this in only two minutes, which is a minute under the online standard for attention grabbing.

Glass Petal Smoke has transcribed the narrator's monologue in Master of Perfume as it embodies the kind of questions inspired by wearing a fragrance that doesn't feel separate from one's "self." You can also listen to the video for Master of Perfume in Arabic as an unfamiliar language can be experienced as emotion through intonation.

Master of Perfume

How did you become the master of scent?
That passing rebellious shape-shifting ether.
How did it surrender its freedom?
The keys to its chains?

Who taught you the language of air?
Words of the wind
What breeze whispers,
The meaning of the silence of dewdrops.

From where that knowledge of ancient secrets?
Of the darkness within the darkness,
The source of all light.
What authority do you hold over Oud,
Amber, Musk?

To what power does the blossom surrender its essence?
What does the heart choose to present which words cannot express?
How did you capture that uncontested mastery of perfume?

Abdul Samad Al Qurashi.
The masters of royal scent. 

Another example of the poetic approach to branding is Prada's Thunder Perfect Mind starring Daria Werbowy. It's longer than the three minute standard for capturing attention online (it clocks in at 4:47 minutes), but it's worth a look. The video is inspired by Gnostic Nag Hammadi text and is a modern riff on female archetypal essence. American mythologist Joseph Campbell would have loved it.