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.