Other Works in this Series:
Casmir's MotifSize: 28" x 22"
Medium: Charcoal, pastel and metallics on paper
Nieto-Rosch Collection, NYC
I discovered Casmir with my Mother during a trip to the Bahamas in the summer of 1994. I fell in love with the shape of the bottle and immediately drawn to the fragrance, in particular its vanilla quality, light in scent, yet concentrated enough to bring its essence and sensuality into the body. Chopard invented Casmir in 1991. The fragrance is described as: “Woodsy sandalwood and patchouli. Accompanied by fruity notes of fresh citrus, melons and peaches. It captures the charm and mystery of the Orient in a beautiful, exotic perfume.” Casmir has been with me for over a decade, and its scent is fading. I am unable to spray it, but I can still smell its fragrance inside the bottle. I keep Casmir, as a reminder of beauty, memory, and as a collectible along with my other perfumes.
Perfume, on its own, has augmented femininity through the ages. It can be sacred, casual, it can represent wealth, sexuality and sensuality, attraction and emotion. Perfume is perceived as emotional and it’s experienced while smelling. One can perceive another through the scent of the perfume without seeing the actual individual. For me, it’s an everyday morning routine, to apply perfume to my neck and wrists. Perhaps I learned this tradition through my mother and grandmother, and I was always delighted to be nearby the display of the perfume bottles atop a silver tray. I enjoy the personal aspect one shares once one knows one’s scent and of others, followed by what is left behind once a person has left a room. The absence of physical mass, replaced by perfume leaves a mark. I have selected Casmir as focus for drawing. I love the shape of the glass bottle. It may be seen as a palace-shaped motif, detailed on the outer area, as well as the perfume top – very similar to a Russian or Persian dome, in gold. The perfume offers escape to another place, a fantasy setting. It also offers beauty, the antique, and history. The bottom of the perfume has a see-through sticker depicting a bright red lotus flower, along with the written contents of the perfume. Casmir becomes iconic. During the Casmir Series, I derived my focus from the actual bottle, which I still own and is part of my perfume collection. For many years Casmir was difficult to find, but now it is available in exclusive perfumeries and via internet.
These series of drawings, graphite on paper, are studies of the bottle, its size and scale, flatness and volume, delicacy, isolation, motion, departure, and preciousness. Casmir unfolds in its frontal view as a round shape. I begin with Introduction to Casmir, investigating its shape, in profiles. Followed by Reflection with Casmir, introspection by reflecting on the perfume dome top as confrontational and question why I’m looking. Casmir’s Motif, is as frontal, flat and centered motif positioned over a silver ground. Casmir into Space, is a rocket leaving the earth and its bottled nature. This relates to the absence of the fragrance inside the bottle. Holding on to its precious fragrance and at the same time it is almost gone. Casmir’s Departure, focuses on the dome motif moving in various directions. It is present, yet in constant motion. The Capture of Casmir, includes womanly qualities of face and profiles against the surrounding perfume and its essence. The dome can be presented as an arch, an entrance to another place. It could be about travel. It offers elegance, attraction and sensuality, an investigation into the connection between the presence of a woman and her perfume – a private time between the two. A transcendent experience of Casmir, the ‘holding-on’ to the fragrance and beauty of the bottle, the art of spraying its fragrance…it once existed to share its scent, therefore it brought an identity to a period in time. Who knows if the scent will last forever, perfume does dissipate, but the search, nostalgia and memory become infinite.
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