If you were a cyborg
how would you crave to smell…? I have pondered this during multiple viewings of
Ridley Scott’s masterly Bladerunner
and my consuming obsession with Rachel, the doomed smoke-wreathed, fur-clad
femme fatale played so achingly by Sean Young. Has uncertain mechanical
obsolescence ever looked so shatteringly beautiful? In my mind Rachel has always
radiated Tabac Blond, something disturbingly
sensual, an implanted memory that tied her to lost generations, women in photos
women who of course are nothing really to do with her, figments, chosen ghosts
that haunt her tragically wired mind.
Sean Young as Rachel in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner
Chris Cunningham’s cold
rolling sexbots for Bjork’s All is Full
of Love, my beloved Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell, Prometheus’ beautiful Peter O’Toole obsessed
android David, Bladerunner’s damaged Pris, Jude Law’s painted Gigolo Joe in AI and
the pristine, calculating Ava in Ex_Machina.
These challenging and enigmatic cyber creatures contravene nature in their
search for soul and love, their bodies mirroring our own, yet lacking the
warmth and humanity to truly connect and convince us of a definitive reality.
They can be seen as projections, desires, fantasies, objects to be inscribed
upon, like phantom palimpsests, over and over..
Bjork - All is Full of Love Directed by Chris Cunningham
This analogy of
oddity, mirrors of reality, an echoing of nature applies equally to
aromachemicals, a glittering exquisite world of bonded synthetics and riffs on
nature’s beauteous magnificence. People fret so about synthetics in fragrances,
but they fact is they have been around since coumarin was isolated and
subsequently synthesised in 1868 by William Henry Perkin. Without these
extraordinary materials, perfumery would be a monochrome and unimaginative
world, a drab landscape with little variation in vegetation, topography and climate.