Purveyor. Not of goods, but of good ideas

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My Best Smeller List: Addendum

Laurie Anderson interviewed in WIRED magazine in 1994:

A few years ago, Brian [Eno] began collecting little perfume bottles, just because he liked them. Then he began mixing the scents, making these incredible combinations. Now occasionally he goes to a big factory to do it. So when we did our last record, rather than sitting around afterwards talking about how we mix that, or who played bass, he took us all to a perfume factory, where we made a perfume. The secret of a really good perfume, Brian taught us, is that at its very core is something very, very stinky—civet—because the purpose of the nose is danger, to alert you. After that happens, then you can put on the pleasant smells. But first—wake up! So that’s one of the things we’ve paid attention to in making this record, that at its core is something that’s repellent, because those are the things that interest me.
Now that's interesting: the smell of perfume, the substance we use to evoke sexual attraction, is based on a substance—from a wild cat—that signals what might possibly kill us.


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