Scent of an Artist
From Chandler Burr in yesterday's New York Times ...
"About a year ago, Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, was looking at one of the collection's most famous paintings, "The Lute Player," by Caravaggio. He took in this 16th-century portrait of a boy - the luminous skin and thick hair, the tones in the wood of the musical instruments, the pears, the figs, the roses and the iris - and realized that it held a kind of perfume.
So he contacted Laura Tonatto, an esteemed Italian perfumer whose collection was just unveiled at Barneys New York. Tonatto worked with Alessandra Marini, an art historian at the University of Perugia, who described to her the meaning behind each object in the painting.
From there, Tonatto created the sumptuous aroma of a room in a 16th-century villa - what you'd smell if you were standing next to this boy: the scent of Italian plums, orange leaf and jasmine, as well as the wood of the lute, the sheet music and the rich smell of cloth.
The Hermitage introduced the eau de parfum Caravaggio during a November exhibition of the painting, along with an olfactory installation. Can the smell of 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' be far behind?"
Oh, I think it's been done. Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood.