Collaboration can be tricky, yet Alexis Karl, Brooklyn based Artist/Musician/Perfumer/Professor/Lecturer, and Maria McElroy, American-born Artist/Perfumer/Japanophile/ Tea Sommelier/ Master Flower Arranger/ Aromatherapist/ NYC/ Kyoto/ Marrakech make it look not only easy, but fun. They each maintain their own distinct fragrance lines, Maria with Aroma M and Alexis with Scent by Alexis, but their joint-effort has led them to their alter-ego, House of Cherry Bomb (HOCB). Through HOCB they have created a myriad of fragrances with distinct collections namely: Atelier, Immortal Mine II and most recently Revolution Perfumes.
In February, HOCB was collaborating with visual artist Jared Boechler, at the Sheen Center in NYC, and created a series of six impressive scent compositions that connected to and illuminated Boechler’s still life paintings. The exhibit made me want to find out what brought these two together, and learn more about their process.
“I was very aware of the role that scent played in my own life, often acting as a sort of remedy,” Boechler told us. “For these works in particular, the scents they are paired with are quite often the antithesis of what is being depicted. The scents are meant to level out the unrest of the work, just as I’ve noticed it’s capable of doing for me personally in day-to-day life.”
House of Cherry Bomb was thrilled to be a part of Jared Boechler’s extraordinary exhibition, creating fragrances for the provocative, haunting selection of paintings in February 2018 at the Sheen Center in Soho, NYC. Six scents were created for … Continue reading →
“Immortal Beloved opens on tobacco flower a lot of it. This is the continuation of Immortal Mine which ended with tobacco. Immortal Mine opens with the tobacco flower which is the same but not the same just as Clarimonde in her new form is. Then we get two fantastic nods to the living dead as a desiccated henna and the funeral flower of choice lily add a sense of the cemetery. This is a fabulous piece of interpretation that I enjoyed very much. The base accord is like the tobacco flower as the recapitulation of the amber and oud ensnared in beeswax from Immortal Mine. Except in Immortal Beloved they are a mix of vintage ouds and fossilized ambers. I smelled a couple of these raw materials on that year ago visit; the fossilized amber is amazing by itself. Here the perfumers have allowed it to provide the power of the ages to Clarimonde.”
Immortal Beloved is a hauntingly floral oriental chypre: it hovers.
It opens with silvery shafts of light on whose heels the warm/cool florals melt and spread their wings. I say ‘warm/cool’, because tobacco flower is precious and full-bodied, warm and a bit moist – while henna blossom always feels drily warm to me. Muguet always feels chilly and moist, slightly verdant even – but floral in the extreme. We have voluptuous, fearless flowers shrouded in a diaphanous shawl of ambergris [salty and serene], a sigh of labdanum, the vanillic salutation. Beeswax imparts its honeyed animalic tone, underscoring the carnality of Immortal Beloved. Oud spins a delicate web of sorcery [yes, oud!] beneath the silvery cocoon which grazes our skin.
We are suspended between the waking and dreaming world in a divine limbo of existence
“Tobacco Cognac seems like something out of French New Wave. It’s late nights smoking cigarettes having indifferent conversations, drinking cognac while wearing frayed wool sweaters, shorts and dock shoes. It’s lazy weekday mornings sunbathing on the little beaches of a forgotten French resort town in a faded polka dot bikini.”
“Pink Haze is heady and gives a powerful aroma much like the gardenia. Its aroma is maintained by not overpowering with its powder-like sillage that lasted well over seven hours.
It is grounded and earthy just like what Brooklyn represents with its lined streets of store buildings and subways of trains that go to every part of the city and beyond. It gives new meaning to leaving in the city. It gives beauty, warmth and a vibrate attribute to nature. “