The Seven Scents

Evolving from The Seven Sauces performance executed in Vancouver in 1999, The Seven Scents continues the sound-scent journey based on the concept of the Seven Seas. Using as a point of departure the legendary exoticism and adventure of the Seven Seas, The Seven Scents provide an occasion for virtual travel.

Whereas in The Seven Sauces performance, the artists perambulated with a portable serving trolley, and had visitors interact in a more transitory manner, here the visitors are physically calmed in order to maximize on the transporting capacity of the sensory input. Cruise ship deck chair recliners face the waters of Lake Ontario and invite passersby to lie back, relax, listen to a series of soundscapes and inhale the ambiance of travel. Like spa therapists, the artists gently facilitate each lounger’s sensorial reverie.

Transportation and memory are two key means of escape in the effort to get away. Transportation is conjured and memory is triggered via a series of white noise sounds recorded at seven targeted sites related to travel, and a series of scents based on the desire for escape in combination with the inescapable everyday. Using a base of a mass-produced perfume, a perfume that promises ‘an ocean breeze passing over floral and exotic notes’, seven related eau de toilette scents were concocted. They employ a base note of salty sea and incorporate post-industrial smells within the top, bottom and middle notes.

Distilling together sound and scent, romance and reality, the piece contemplates the fantasies of escape and the odious actualities of tourism.

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