Studio Series 1.5

Studio Series 1 has sold out, but I’ve put a similar intermediary set in the shop, Studio Series 1.5, before subscriptions ship this March.

Studio Series 1.5

This set contains iterations from the incense and lily projects, as well as a fifth experimental vial, which offers an olfactive puzzle to unfurl. Artfully packed, handmade goodness.

¶ 2018·02·05
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Studio Series Subscriptions now available.

In the shop, subscriptions for future Studio Series perfume sets are now available.

Studio Series 2 will ship on March 12, and will be followed by new sets in June and September.

New Sprayer

Studio Series sets contain 5 to 10 samples of perfumes in various stages of completion, allowing you to experience the compositional process in which the perfumer works.

¶ 2018·01·22
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Between the visual and the olfactive.

When I first started ripping out pages from motel-room Gideon’s Bibles and old copies of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams to make abstract collage, before making the first tear I would smell each book. Each whiff revealed a different identity, a different past.

Mit. Collage on canvas board on masonite, artist's frame. Chris Rusak, 2011.
Collage on canvas board on masonite, artist’s frame.

When I recall my beginning awareness of a scented world, I think of the particular stale beer breath of my father’s late-night arrivals home, a moment which evoked a certain kind of recoil in a little boy who wouldn’t fully understand that repulsive odor of addiction until many years later when it rolled off his own breath and unsettlingly slithered back into his own nostrils.

That decades later I would first huff the identities of books before I would start destroying them for the construction of art, now, in hindsight, makes sense.

When I think of approaching perfumery as art, I invariably think of a formative experience I had in my youth — the moment when I realized I must make things — seeing for the first time John Baldessari’s Solving Each Problem as it Arises (1966-68), part of his National City series of paintings.

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¶ 2018·01·17
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Creativity in a time of constructed chaos.

How does one jumpstart a stalled studio practice, or renew a discipline of creativity, or revive a blog, refresh a website, and be committed to one’s vision and remain productive in a time of astonishing, distracting political chaos?

In the face of what feels like a capitalist push toward American neo-fascism, and after a serious, personally fallow period of depressed creativity and post-academic burnout, I feel like my only answer is to actively choose to make work as my form of resistance. I feel that self-discipline and resolve is the only plentiful tonic. I feel that now is a time to innovate and adapt, to rethink how one can work and thrive creatively in our present and forthcoming economy, and to surmount the many barriers we face, ideological and political, however one can. I feel that art and small-scale creative sectors must be an antidote to mass-production and mass-consumption, must retrieve importance from the complacency of corporate commodification, and restore excitement for the unusual, the intricate, the intimate, and the sensual.

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¶ 2017·12·20
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Kierkegaard, religion, and existentialism.

Sunrise. A woman and a man awake. Their eyes crackle open to the outside world and freedom faces each with the day’s first challenge. Burning like the hot sun, this empty day stands before them and demands recognition, having returned once again with freedom’s unworn morning salutation, a vehement inquiry, “what now?”

To acknowledge one’s mortality is to bear the burden of assured finitude — an unknowable end, an unavoidable certainty, both of which habitually offer nothing but disquiet and enigma; but, to acknowledge one’s free nature is to confront an existence containing unfailing infinitude — the unavoidable certainty that unknowable ends await us, as we are compelled, simply by being, to decide each moment of our own fate. Bound by these facts, which incites the harsher terror: accountability for a repercussive future, which results from answering the day’s “what now”; or, the knowledge that every action, no matter its effort, cannot stave off our grandest threat? In questioning the purpose, then, of existence, some individuals may see the day’s warming sunrise and believe it need be nothing more than what it is, another moment enjoyed or ignored in another day — inherently meaningless. For others, the shelter of religion provides solace from the terror of their existential bind as it supplants divinity for uncertainty, moral doctrine for individual responsibility, and eternal salvation for encroaching annihilation. One individual who shied away from the simple mechanics of sunshine and instead found existential warmth underneath tenets of divinity was the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.

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¶ 2017·03·11