When fine fragrance perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, a recent Big Think guest, saw our video interview with filmmaker John Waters—in which Waters divulged his affection for a deadly work of contemporary art by Karen Sander that amounts to not much more than a blank canvas infested by toxic mold—Laudamiel says he was moved to create an exclusive scent for the self-proclaimed "Pope of Filth."
Though Laudamiel has composed a scent opera, created the fragrance of a virgin and devised the scent of fear, he says he's never attempted to make a scent that one might describe as gross—until now. The appeal of the "filthy fragrance" he hopes to make for Waters, lies not in its stink, but in its exaltation of ingredients that have been frowned upon by the fine fragrance industry.
"I would not go as far as saying that it would be toxic, but something impossible at the day of today to sell on the market," Laudamiel wrote in an email to Big Think. "Full of real natural rose oil—yes natural rose oil is in an aberration; we can use only very little in commercial fragrances because of the excessive safety rules that the industry imposes, oak moss, and an overdose of some molecules that are also limited, like safranal, the main component in Saffron."
Check out our recent interviews with Christophe Laudamiel and John Waters below: