The figure seems composed of dark matter and motionless, brooding, clothed in saffron orange, lending it a symbolic religiosity. Only in the top left of the image does light appear, again ambiguously, it could be flooding in or fleeing. A lick of orange fire on the water correlates with the figure’s raiment.
The definition of panorama is the point looking out over a view when everything before you drops away from mere perspective, coalescing sharply into magnificence. Vista becomes unbroken awe. Miguel Sandinha’s sci-fi tinted image of the Sheats-Goldstein house catches this fabulous moment of wow with lush green power. The glass and concrete corner of the seating area juts provocatively out into the airy void, floating over the seemingly tropical morass below.
The house was designed by architect John Lautner and built between 1961-1963 for Paul and Helen Sheats, an expert in child education and his wife who was an artist. They lived in the finished house for a number of years with their five children; Helen cleverly had windows installed in the pool so she could watch the children playing while she worked in her studio/study. Subsequent owners did not care for the house in the quite the same way and when the rather mesmerising and James F Goldstein acquired the property in 1972, it was in a state of sacrilegious neglect. He set about a long intensive programme of structural remodelling with Lautner and later, after Lautner’s death, with Duncan Nicolson who worked in Lautner’s office. A lot of work was done internally to enhance the existing features, modernising the original structure without compromising the visionary concept. Goldstein requested Lautner to design all the fitting as well, carpets, furniture, lighting etc so there was no visible seam in the aesthetics. Goldstein commissioned landscape designer Eric Nagelmann to create a unique microclimate to cocoon the house, inspired by the tropical flora of Tahiti or Bali. This has worked beautifully with Lautner’s edges and planes, producing a series of shadowed enclaves and quiet concrete-clad walkways. The contemporary beauty of this jungle meets urban cave concept owes much to James F Goldstein’s unwavering belief in a pure, driven aesthetic vision.
The phrase Japanese Horseradish is bandied about a lot, but wasabi is in fact a brassica, although a lot of so-called wasabi flavoured products use combinations of horseradish, mustard and green colourants to achieve their effects. I used to buy real wasabi from a farmers’ market; it came wrapped in damp muslin, smelling of sharp mulch and bitter leaf. I had a special ceramic grater for it, textured like sharkskin. The vibrant green colour and cleansing heat is like nothing else.
It really is all about the top and heart with Panorama and this is no bad thing, topping up and re-applying is a task of joy. Just as Lautner’s visionary house seems to float out in the shimmering LA air, dazzling with its juxtaposed planes of glass, concrete and steel set against a private jungle, Panorama’s complex and masterful use of an edgy vibrant green palette of unexpected notes and high quality materials has produced a perfume of unexpected allure and emerald aesthetics. What could have been anther dull venture into flat green generic herbaceous boredom is in fact one of the most intriguing and moreish launches in recent years.
It has made me a little more tolerant of Olfactive Studio’s photograph=scent approach. I’m still not entirely sold on it, but it think both Panorama and Ombre Indigo are major shifts in style and depth for Céline Verleure’s©TheSilverFox 2015