Knowing The Ropes / Bound To Love

tekening sailors

“My body is an ocean
of twisted white debris,

And when summer gets to me
and sets the heart in motion
a pain that hides in my insides
is suddenly set free.” – Adam & the Ants

Last Saturday at the Annindriya Perfume Lounge I had the wonderful chance to meet famous perfumer Christophe Laudamiel- creator of many famous fragrances such as Ralph Lauren’s Polo Blue and Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew Amber Nude.

During the Perfume & Liquer Remix Tasting event , Christophe showed us the effect of adding raw materials such as bergamot to liqueurs .He talked about ingredients, the industry, his latest beautiful release Sailors by his own brand The Zoo. I found him very energetic and wish I could spend more time listening to him and learning.

When I got home I smelled Sailors on my skin , and I decided to translate my feelings about this perfume into a visual. I  tried to forget about the name and associations and purely concentrate on the scent itself- but that was hard. Rainer Fassbinder’s movie Querelle immediately came to mind and I started looking at clips of that movie on Youtube for ideas- but none came.


I have been fascinated for a while by the Japanese Shibari bondage art, and from this fascination with ropes I thought of all the different ropes and knots that sailors have to know and work with on their ships. The smell of the sea and  sweat that fragrance the ropes- and the idea that these men and women are in fact bound to their ships and their fate, far from loved ones- bound by the sea.

On my skin sailors is very multi-faceted: I get salt, licorice even, green notes , aquatic notes and I could just be imagining this but I feel there is a woody vetiver like freshness in it.It is cool and caressing at the same time. I have tried to capture these elements in the shapes and colors I used for my drawing.


tekening scent tattoo.jpg

So this was how I went to work on the Sailors drawing. When I had finished it,  I smelled the Club Design perfume of which i had been given a mini-spray. An interesting fact: This leather fragrance Club Design won the 2018 Olfactory Award and it’s the exact same perfume as Scent Tattoo – yet the name seems to make a huge difference as to how one perceives the creation, as would a same perfume in an entirely different bottle do.

unnamed-4I felt the name Scent Tattoo had such a connection to the Sailors drawing-more so than Club Design. Inspired by scented ropes, tattoos and creatures of the seas – I wanted to capture a  sailor longingly gazing through a porthole at what he hopes lies written somewhere in the stars. I’m sure if I would make a drawing inspired by Club Design it would be a different idea altogether – funny how the brain messes with us.

DUO-Bound to Love

Knowing the Ropes ( inspired by Sailors) 30×30 cm , gouache,pencil,ink on paper. Bound To Love / Kiss me Later (inspired by Scent Tattoo) 30x30cm gouache,pencil,ink on paper. All images copyright 2018 Chester Gibs, Amsterdam.

For more information on The Zoo click here!

Thanks Christope and Annindriya for a wonderful and meaningful experience!


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