Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Coal Perfume by Sissel Tolaas: Would you Wear it?

Even if your answer to this question is yes, you have to allow for extremely limited production: only10 pieces are produced for inquisitive "noses" in the industry to smell. Sissel Tollas, the famous Norwegian olfactory researcher and artist, created a charcoal perfume for SHOWstudio.

Coal is nothing new to perfumery actually: several of perfumery's materials have been produced via coal and tar byproducts since the late 19th century. Tolaas, in her credo of "there are no inherently good or bad smells" tried to capture the sooty mineral of the coal mines of the North Pole intact into an olfactory project called "Coal Perfume".

"Scent artist Sissel Tolaas pushes the boundaries of the olfactory sense, inverting our preconceptions of how things should smell, how things can smell, and what a scent can say. With COAL Tolaas created a wearable perfume made from coal extracted from the deepest mine in the North Pole. Tolaas' perfume evokes a strange sense of deceit: the bottled Essence Absolue of fired carbon opposes our expectation of a floral fragrance, drawing allusions to the olfactory alchemy of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, antihero of Patrick Suskind's Perfume".

The 75 ml bottle in black dye with a pump atomiser is looks like a sensuous elixir of seduction....what irony!

Available at SHOWstudio for 200GBP


  1. Ninis08:34

    I make tar soap, have tar salve and recently bought a tar shampoo. I love the smoky, leathery smell of tar, and perfumes like L'air du Desert Marocain! so if this perfume smells anything like it, I'd definitely give it a try! Thanks for the post!

  2. Want. Now.

    (I'll stay waiting, I've already spent my Giftmas bonus for books and some lotus absolute.)

  3. N,

    you're welcome!

    If I may, you should definitely give the Paris exclusive A.Goutal "Eau de Fier" a try then, if you haven't already. It's just so tarry!

  4. L,

    I think you're set with something else like Lonestar or Eau de Fier, like mentioned above. This is too much $$ for something that's experimental, not specifically to be worn.
    Books are certainly never a bad investement though! (Even bad boods, they teach you what to avoid)

  5. There aren't mines at the North Pole.

  6. S,

    small details for Sissel :-D
    I also think "north Pole" is taken a bit too vaguely. They probably mean some place north in Norway or Finland or something...


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