How to capture smell
Scents are created by combinations of other scents, usually essential oils, molecules, tinctures (alcohol extractions of scented components of matter) and other specialized extraction techniques. The methods by which these components are extracted have a large impact on how we eventually perceive these smells. Many other factors affect the basic building blocks of scent (where the plants or materials from essential oils originated, when the oils were extracted, if these oils have been aged or if they're fresh). When they're combined, that adds yet another layer of complexity. Perfumery is the craft of adding drops of these different ingredients to each other until new and resonant combinations are formed to create that greater whole.
The January Project evolved out of a deep interest in the painter-like process of combining these basic components in a way that resembled the art making process; like drawing, painting, sculpting or filmmaking. It's both additive and subtractive in that it involves combining and removing. It requires testing, doing again, reevaluating, much like the evolution of artwork. The impromptu lab for the January Project takes place has found a home in an artist's studio in Waltham, Massachusetts, so the two work side by side and inform each other.