Underworld, a photo series and a scent

underworld.jpg
 Bottle sketch designed by Paloma Serrano

Bottle sketch designed by Paloma Serrano

The metro of Barcelona initially inspired the Underworld photo series.

As a matter of coincidence, I learned about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in a storytelling workshop I attended while I was in Barcelona. This passage spoke directly to me since the ideas here were reflected on the story I was working on.

To summarise the text, it speaks about how wrong we are at looking and understanding the world. What we call “reality” is nothing but mere shadows reflected on the dark walls of our cave. One can get closer to reality if he takes the risks to get out of the comfort zone and sees things from a different perspective. But getting out of the cave carries certain inconveniences, like being blinded by the sun, which symbolizes the reality.

The Underworld photo series emphasizes dark tones (the cave) where shadows of things (illusions) are projected. It illustrates the progression from the inside to the outside, from delusion to reality.

The photo series comes along with a fragrance I created as an interpretation of the cave. It is a scent that brings to mind the cave, the humidity, wet stones, earth, mold, as well as the blinding sunrays and the warmth of light symbolised by cold and warm spices. 

The fragrance was presented in front of a jury composed of four perfumers* at the final exam of the scent designer training I attended these past eight months.

Is this the beginning of a more personal way of creating and sharing stories, from both a visual and olfactory perspective? Only the future can tell, but it is definitely an approach I wish to explore deeper now that I successfully passed the scent design exam.

*Learn more about Jean-Michel Duriez, Aliénor Massenet, Sylvaine Delacourte and Pamela Roberts.