When we smell a rose, its scent travels only a few inches. But when we take in a perfume, or taste a great dish, some of the scents and flavours have travelled great distances and been on journeys made possible by an extraordinary history.
The resulting sensation is intangible and invisible. But the process that brings it to us – the places, people, fruits and flowers of the Givaudan world – are very much visible.
‘An Odyssey of Flavours and Fragrances’, the Givaudan anthology, features exclusive images from the Company’s archive.
Through immaculately presented photographs and illustrations, we can put scenes and faces to the names and places that are most important in bringing us the huge kaleidoscope of tastes and scents we enjoy every day.
From people to plant to product
Throughout ‘An Odyssey of Flavours and Fragrances’, you’ll find small sections dedicated to specific ingredient harvests.
Each one has a collection of breath-taking photos and illustrations that convey the real essence of the ingredient and the journey it completes, as well as the places and the people involved:
- Irises from Tirdouine,
- Roses from the Valley of M’Gouna,
- Jasmine and tuberoses from Tamil Nadu,
- Madagascan vanilla and ylang ylang from the Comoros Islands
The photos in theses sections come from Denis Dailleux, a French photographer living in Cairo. Dailleux’s style is calm and understated, but is driven by the close bonds he develops with his subjects.
The faces and places of a fragrant history
Throughout the first chapter of ‘An Odyssey of Flavours and Fragrances’, we get an in-depth history of aromas and tastes, from the early aromas of ancient Egypt to the perfumes of Armani, Prada and many other globally acclaimed perfume brands. Almost every page offers a visual glimpse into the story.
Among many others, you can see artists’ illustrations of a 17th Century alchemist’s lab, photos of huge flower piles from jasmine harvests, and portraits of industry pioneers like the Chiris family of Grasse.
Pictures of fragrances
Across two sections of ‘An Odyssey of Flavours and Fragrances’, French photographer Lili Roze uses the art of still life to present an array of scents and tastes in a visual style that evokes the essence of their appeal.
As introduced by writer Sean Rose: “The artist captures the aura of perfume and stages subtle architectures of leaves, petals and fruit in order to translate the olfactory structure of each fragrance.
Yet beyond the seductive aesthetics, Lili Roze plunges us into the mystery world of fragrances and lures us into its mesmerising paradox: the evanescence of sensation combined with the wilfulness of memory – a fugacious reality ready to disappear at any moment and a presence despite the absence, like some trace of eternity.”
Pictures of flavours
As Roze turns her lens to food, she focuses on rustic, hearty dishes full of flavour and aroma – steak, roast chicken, chicken casserole and beef stew.
Each photograph has an exciting array of colour, but also with a timeless sense of tradition and family.
As Rose says: “Lili Roze displays with her Pictures of Flavours both a sense of beauty and a spirit of conviviality. From roast chicken to entrecote to chicken casserole to beef stew, the savoury aroma of cooked meat blends with the crunchy scent of raw vegetables.”
In ‘An Odyssey of Flavours and Fragrances’, we not only learn of the rich history of this fascinating topic, but see it brought to life in myriad images, photographs and illustrations – a feast for the eyes, as well as the mind.