The Raymond Matts Collection is just that, unpredictable; intriguing olfactory stories that play through light and shadow. With this original new style, each “Aura” points to an Impressionist water color on the skin where the concentrations and nuances meld into the memory for a long time to come.
These few lines were part of Ray Matts' brief for his new perfume collection.
I grew up in Provence, a region in the south of France, where some may say nature is at its finest. At a young age, I could appreciate why the beautiful landscapes of Provence—so poetic and raw—became inspirational for major painters like Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Signac, Gauguin, Cezanne just to name a few. These artists, created masterpieces under clear skies in which all nuances of colors could be perceived and translated magnificently onto the canvas. The same landscapes have inspired me and became my backdrops when, as a teenager, I started to experiment with photography.
Scent has always been a great part of my life. In Provence, natural fragrances are one of nature’s key elements. Motion is another important element because of “Le Mistral”, the strong local wind. “Le Mistral” frequently sweeps the endless lavender fields and the aromatic garigues, spreading exquisite smells and keeping the horizon a deep azure color.
Scents stay in our memory clearly. Upon smelling something familiar, our brain can recall very specific moments from the past. Every time I smell lavender, thyme or another aroma indigenous to my region, I see myself in Provence. I am resting in the shade, sheltered under parasol pines and feeling a hot summer wind filled with a delicate blend of natural fragrances. “Le Mistral” whispering sensual perfumes, generating subtle olfactory trails—it’s unforgettable!
In my mind, scent is linked with the motion of wind. The moving air facilitates the diffusion of scent and motion helps create abstraction in art, furthermore in photography. Motion seamed to be the perfect way for me to translate into images the “aura de parfums” from the Raymond Matts Collection.
I wanted the photographs for this project to be minimalist, abstract and colorful. Therefore, they were created very much in the manner of abstract expressionist paintings, where motion is an important part of the process and colors are a major ingredient.
Abstraction leaves a door open to our imagination, which I felt was essential for these images. In them, one can see reflections in water, lavender fields in motion under strong summer winds or butterflies flying around. There are endless possibilities! I wanted these photographs to be timeless like the “aura de parfums” from the Raymond Matts Collection, which have aroused my creative vision as much as they have brought back favorite childhood memories.