Who: SYRETT, artist and curator, whose newest exhibition The Perfumus Affair, combining art and fragrance, has just moved from Blacks in Soho to the wonderful independent fragrance boutique Jovoy. When not busy pulling together exhibitions, SYRETT also organises Runway Gallery, a ‘fashion focused art gallery and the virtual home of Beautalism,” an emerging art movement acclaimed for bringing beauty back into the London art scene.
The collaboration of artists and perfumers is having a bit of a moment in London, with Anicka Yi’s In Love With The World at Tate Modern and A.A Murakami’s Silent Fall at Superblue (which commissioned perfumer Paul Schutze to scent the bubbles). And of course we recently interviewed Annie Mackin at her exhibition Through Smoke, inspired by scent. Those who follow our instagram feed will know that we also recently visited diptyque’s Le Grand Tour, a collaboration between five artists and diptyque perfumers to celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary, where art and perfume came together as a multi sensory experience. Perfume and art seem such a natural and dynamic fit to us, we hope to see more.
We caught up with SYRETT at the exhibition launch, where his work has aligned the use of rare fragrance ingredients with the rare pigments used in nail varnishes, it had us totally captivated. Catch SYRETT’s exhibition at Jovoy Mayfair during November.
Today I’m wearing Amouroud’s Oud du Jour. It’s all about oud, obviously, so it’s smokey with leather and a hint of sweetness, like eating a truffle ice cream while sitting in an leather Chesterfield sofa in an expensive private members club in Mayfair. It makes me feel expensive!
Fragrance plays a huge role in my life. I wear several different fragrances depending on my mood and always carry an atomiser with me. I like how a perfume creates a whole new sensory image.
Aspects Beauty and Runway Gallery (which I run) have been trying for a while now to bring art and fragrance together, but Covid got in the way somewhat. The Perfumus Affair exhibition is the result of our collaboration. So we took 10 boutique fragrance brands and 10 contemporary artists and matched them together. The artists were then sent a perfume to be inspired by and create a piece of art.
I was teamed with Histoires de Parfum and in particular the Three Golds range of rare scents. I work in nail varnish to create large abstract pieces and so I took my lead from the rare element and so investigated the rare pigments used in the colours of the nail varnish I use. Many colours of nail varnish use extremely rare ingredients to create the colours with pigments coming from the mountains in Afghanistan or mined alongside opal excavation. One particular element in nail polish is the use of microscopic pyramids, which have different colours on each side of the shape and therefore gives the effect of colour changing or shimmering.
I spray fragrance daily on my wrists, neck and hair, then I pep it up throughout the day particularly if I can’t smell it.
I didn’t change my fragrance routine through Covid, I just kept going with my normal routine. I wear perfume every day even if I’m home alone, it’s something I wear for myself as much as to smell nice when meeting others.
We have scented candles at home, they tend to be on the oud, vanilla, coffee, smoky, leather and patchouli, side of things…. I like the warmness these smells create in the home.
Some of the more unusual smells I like include truffles (as in the fungi), calvados, box fresh new shoes, and the smell of an old church, that cold stone, old hymn books, candle wax and a hint of musk. The smell that makes you slow down and think.. that smell.
Photography by Tony Woolliscroft