Pictures that talk: Alyssa speaks about Irving Penn

The image of perfume

Irving Penn: When being put on the spot becomes an honor

Musk by Alyssa Ashley in the spotlight

In my story I told you about my close relationship with art, passed on to me by my father, a contemporary and personally cultured artist.

This is why, I have tried to bring out this connection in my work, not only because it derives from my personal passion but also because perfumery itself represents an artistic expression and as such lives in symbiosis with the others. We used to think of art as a visual representation, because over the centuries this concept has always been linked to visual arts, called ‘major arts’, and kept away from the others (such as perfumery) called the ‘minor arts’.

But really, it is the exchanges between the different arts which have always been the fulcrum of their development, materializing into technical but also perceptive aspects, which is why painting and photography can transform a poem into images, a song can give voice and life to a sculpture , and a perfume could provide memories to contemporary installations.

The image of perfume

The new images of some of my products draw inspiration from some artistic expressions, as an example, for the last photo shoot, I decided to imagine what perfume could have matched a work of art, a gesture or an artistic concept,and vicersa.

Through these perfumes I will tell you about great works but above all great artists, and here is a small preview of what we have interpreted in these days ...

Can you imagine what it is?

Irving Penn: When being put on the spot becomes an honor

The expression "being put on the spot" is used to indicate a difficult situation in which someone or something forces someone else to take an action. This concept was reversed and interpreted in a positive key by Irving Penn, a photographer from the '900. He believed that, those two portions of wall, which converged in a straight line, were not limiting but enhanced the protagonist of the photograph.

irving penn

Credits by Flicr

Actors and singers but also artists and politicians were portrayed on a neutral backgrounds, without retouching, in full ease, exposing their figure metaphorically whilst raising it at the same time. Penn's corner, even if it is intended for characters considered important, is not far from the Horatian angulus, resembling the concept of a secluded place where you can find yourself and happiness.

People started calling these photographic portraits ‘Penn's corners’, representing the artist’s stylistic code starting from the 1960s throughout his career. Penn had achieved success as a fashion photographer, collaborating with many fashion magazines including Vogue, but his interest also involved social issues such as marginalization, discrimination, poverty, by portraying many of them in his works from the Street Material cycle but especially in’ Worlds in a small room’.

So in his art ethnography mixes with fashion without ever appearing too patinated or scientific. It is his ability to blend form and substance and his high expressive index that made me fall in love with his art, to the point that I draw inspiration from it for my cult product.

Musk by Alyssa Ashley in the spotlight

Sensuality, identity, intimacy, belonging. The corner highlights the Musk perfume, elevates it as a symbol..

So the perfume becomes a celebrity to which everyone looks up to with desire,becoming itself an object of desire, contested, shared, but also a symbol of love, peace and sharing.

The corner of peace and calmness, just like Orazio had seen it, is linked to a perfume that takes you back in time with memory, and recalls happy moments and loved ones, and is often remembered with affection and as "part of the family" .

The sensuality of its fragrance and its long history makes this perfume important but modest, spontaneous, like the stars that Irving loved to take pictures of.


Discover Musk by Alyssa Ashley

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