Guerilla Gorilla: Scenting the 50th Anniversary of James Bond at Inspace, Edinburgh

Sometimes, I am asked to scent various sensory events. We’re going to start reporting on some of the Guerilla Gorilla events that we’ve done over the past few years.

So the tour is on break for a week before storming Leeds this Saturday, October 20th. You didn’t think we were resting on our laurels in the interim did you?

I was asked to scent Diamonds are Forever. This year is the 50th anniversary of James Bond- and I was asked by Mark Daniels, of New Media Scotland, to scent the experimental science/arts laboratory Inspace while the film played. Jonathan Prior of 12 Gates to the City provided the sound art, and I roped Paul Tvaroh from Lounge Bohemia into his second gig at Inspace in less than a week (the 1st being, Gorilla on Tour- The Golden Hour: Infused and Bemused where he provided his edible perfume cocktails).

Because of a slight visa hiccup, I couldn’t physically BE at the event, though I sent all my scent notes to one of my favourite assistants, Lush’s own Erica Edwards of Everything Is Imagined (that’s a funny phrase to say aloud. “I sent all my scent notes”). It was handy for the fellas working too- they didn’t have to remember another name. And I’m also told that Agnes, the lovely Parisian sales associate from the Edinburgh shop, played Erica’s assistant! (I’m always blessed to have the most beautiful assistants! That’s one of the perks of working with Lush and Gorilla!).

I always use Lush and Gorilla scents when we scent something. A perk of my job, is that by working for Simon Constantine, I have access to a vast library of scents. We use things like ultrasonic misters, bubbles, atomisers, vaporizers and other devices to move scent about at various concentrations. For this film I was asked, in particular to scent the evil villain, Mr. Wint. His cologne plays a big part in the solving of a mystery. We used ultrasonic misters, some perfume atomisers, balloons that were filled with scent and popped at a point in the film, and each audience member received a brown paper bag (embossed with diamonds by Erica (!)) that contained a handkerchief that was doused in our most lascivious fragrance, that audience members were instructed to smell when Sean Connery drolls, “One of us smells like a tart’s handkerchief” (81:55 into the movie, FYI)

Paul Tvaroh made gin and tonic diamonds, which were stunningly beautiful. I have my own blog post about their creation here. But you’ll see them in the photos in the slideshow above & below. They looked like pieces of art!

And as for the scents, in true guerilla fashion, we’re not telling you what we used. But hint, hint, one of our newest scents carried the smokiness of whisky into Inspace. And we seem to think Ms. Case would be represented by a sexy jasminey vanilla. And the balloons were filled with our most carnivalesque scents. And the tart’s handkerchief- that one’s easy, isn’t it?

I was especially sorry to not be there in person at the event as it was also Mark Daniels’ birthday. He’s the one who can be seen in the photos below in the dapper white coat. He is an amazing arts administrator in Edinburgh- just a very creative, forward thinking, generous and brilliant man. The New Media Scotland facebook page has an album of all the Atmosphere events (which are the events we are typically involved in. Atmosphere is a series in which sensory aspects play a role in the event) which shows just how cool and amazing Mark and New Media Scotland are. From Gorilla Perfume, happiest of birthdays Mark! We may have given him a scent or two to mark the occasion!

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I was pleased to be asked to scent this event as it is Inspace which fully got me involved in scent art. A few years back, Mark Daniels asked me to scent an event during the Edinburgh International Film Festival at Inspace. I was given the task of scenting the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and I thought long and hard about the task. There are so many directions in which to go with scenting- but the key thing is concentration levels. It is easy to do so much with smell, because its concentration is not reflected in its size. A tiny bottle can make an entire building evacuate. Scent is a terribly powerful thing. Think, workers can be sent home for the day if there are plumbing problems in their workplace. It’s a rare thing that can interrupt enterprise, but scent has the capacity to do so. Though I wasn’t using scents to create a discord, I didn’t want to make people feel sick or nauseated at layers of scent. I used steam distillation, bubbles, and perfume atomisers, and I chose to reflect the smell of the seaside in Edinburgh, with the smell of a once fashionable teacher, becoming old fashioned, through seaweed absolute, tooth wracked seaweed, seasalt, a hint of apples (through bubbles which also represented the fleeting youth of the “Brodie set”), merged with a violet that went from a whisper to a full roar. I used both Lush products and Gorilla scents to achieve this.

You can watch a review of the event on STV here.

Chris Scott took all the photos in this blog post. We’ve mentioned the greatness of Chris Scott before, in this blog post.

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