Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pure Imagination: Fragrance and Music

*Current Fragrance: L'Ombre dans l'Eau by Diptyque
*Currently Listening: Somewhere Over The Rainbow - sung by Judy Garland

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view (smell/hear) it.
Anything you want to, do it.
Wanna change the (your) world?
There's nothing to it.

How do I really start a post talking about my two favorite things in the whole wide world: fragrance and music?!?! With a song lyric and a clip from "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory".....naturally! Pure Imagination is one of my favorite songs ever...EVER! (It gets top honors along with What a Wonderful World, Edelweisss & Somewhere Over the Rainbow) Plus, Willy Wonka is just a dreamer's visual manifestation of wonderfulness! I think the lyric I posted sums up what it is that I REALLY love so much about music and fragrance: it's transportive and transformative ability.

Quick tangent, since I listed my four "favorite" songs, I feel I should do the same with "Pop Music" and "Art Music" (the top listed one is each category is my absolute favorite and the rest are in no particular order):

Pop Music: 1) Safety Dance by Men Without Hats 2) Like a Prayer by Madonna 3) If I Had A Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies 4) Down On The Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Art Music: 1) Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss 2) Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger 2) Gran Partita by W.A. Mozart 4) Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Oliver Messiaen (For all of these, the videos that are linked are of my favorite movement of each, if I had to choose.)

Just for fun, I'm also going to include my favorite "recentish" Pop Music: 1) I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You by Black Kids 2) Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra 3) Fly by Nicki Minaj featuring Rihanna 4) Video Games by Lana Del Rey (Don't watch her...her apathy will just make you angry...just listen, that's what works for me!)

Actually this isn't so much of a tangent, the more I think about it; it actually really illustrates a major point that I want to make. Listed above are 16 of - what I think are - some of the most sublime things I've ever heard! You may not think so, but that's why there are so many wonderful permutations of arranging musical sounds to get a very different outcome.....much like perfume! I guess my perfume "tastes" being easily illustrated as being all over the map, by my musical tastes being all over the map...because well, I'm all over the map. Sum that up in one statement: "I likes what I likes!"

Sometimes I don't want Liaisons Dangereuses or Four Last Songs, I want White Tea and Ginger or Safety Dance. Sometimes I want Foie Gras and Champagne & sometimes I want a corn dog sold from the little trailer outside the Wal Mart in the town where I grew up and Boone's Farm. I find all eight of these things to be utterly delicious! (Yup! Fragrance and music can be just as delicious as food and drink!)

Seriously, they're sublimely scrumptious!
Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Why does it matter what music or perfume we're drawn to, but moreoever...why are we drawn to it in the first place? I think the answer is so complex that it is really mind-bogglingly simple: it makes us feel that which we cannot see. We can't physically see fragrance in the air anymore than we can see the music with our naked eye. (Now, don't try and get all cute on me; I know that these things can be "seen" on a myriad levels, but you know what I'm trying to get at here, so just go with it!)

I think that we have the strongest emotional reaction to that this is subjective. I mean, you might hate Liaisons Dangereuses, White Tea and Ginger, Four Last Songs, and Safety Dance - but that's your prerogative, just as much as its my prerogative to be deeply enchanted by all four. I think as humans, we all want something that's our to hold onto, but no one else can visibly REALLY see that hold. The closest you'll ever get to sharing it is talking about it like I am; and yet, I still don't tell everything about my feelings of the fragrance and the music. You can't show all your cards, I feel if you do - what makes it so special to you completely looses its bewitching power. You must leave something between you the molecules, the waves, and the mysteries of the Universe. That's good advice for life, as well!  

I've spent so much of my life wanting to be someone other than I was at the time or somewhere else other than where I was at the time. I really think both music and fragrance helped me through a good deal of that. It transported me, and even for just for a few moments - I was whole. Some of those scents and songs I find very calming, therapeutic - inspiring even; while some of them now reduce me to a sobbing mess and make me feel as though I want to vomit. (Which I know if the price of doing business...c'est la vie!) "Which ones do what?" you ask. Remember what I said a paragraph ago about not showing all your cards? Yeah, this is one of those things.

There is no 
life I know 
to compare with 
Pure Imagination
Living there, you'll be free
If you truly wish to be

15 year old me at State Solo and Ensemble Contest. Fragrances I was in love with - Coty's Sand and Sable Bath and Body Works Sun Ripened Raspberry, music I was in love with - Meatloaf, Ace of Base, Janet Jackson's "Janet" album and the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.
Clearly this is a topic that I'm very passionate about! Which got me to thinking, "I really should include music into a more integral part of my blog!" I know, I always share what I'm listening to and what fragrance I'm wearing as I write each entry as a sort of way to show my state of mind at the time. (It also provides myself with a quick daily diary...those two things I know I can look back on, years from now, and have a pretty good idea of what head space I was in on any particular day. In turn, how did that head space influence my writing....?) 

Starting this coming Monday, I'm going to "Musical Monday", where I make the theme of that entry some type of fusing between music and fragrance. The possibilities are endless! I'm looking at doing posts devoted to some of my favorite music and the fragrance I think that matches them and vice versa, along with taking different times in my life and what smells and sounds I now associate with them.

I'm going to take you on a further peek inside my musical brain, if you want to keep reading....

 Last night, UNC had a basketball game, and I decided that was a GREAT TIME for me to take a good long bubble bath, as my husband can at times erupt into his own special version of crazy watching the games. I had a Dorothy bubble bar that I was just giddy with excitement to use.

Harley wanted to check Dorothy out.
I like to listen to music while I take a nice long bath. Most of the time I put it on a Pandora station, then I end up not liking a song, will have to get up, dry my hands, and change to a different and like-able song....and that's not very like-able. So I decided to make a play list. (Thanks iCloud for me having my ENTIRE iTunes library at my disposal on my iPhone! i<3MacForLife) I expanded upon my "Ballads" play list and added songs that make me smile and chill, that are mostly down tempo. So I'll share....for a look further into my musical likes, for inspiration, to remind you of songs you may haven forgotten about, or maybe even to make you giggle at me. ENJOY! (Yes, I know...."Kathleen, go you charge you damned phone!")

*Currently Listening: The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars (preach it Bruno!)

**Photo credits: All photos my own

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