In early 2020, Susan Barbour was invited to be an artist-in-residence at Castello di Potentino, an ancient castle in Tuscany. Her residency quickly became a lockdown in what was then the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Uncertain whether she would be able to return home to see her family again, she sought solace in daily “scent walks” in the castle’s surrounding hills. She had gone to Potentino with the intention of capturing its environmental bouquet in the form of an artisanal perfume.
Suddenly her project, which began as an homage to Potentino’s biodiversity as well as a loving protest to climate change, became a godsend of mindful encounters with nature. Stumbling upon aromatic treasures in the wild stilled her worrying mind and quickened her senses, interjecting long days of uncertainty with bright moments of happiness and presence. Each day she would compose, through handheld bouquets of harvested plants, a rough draft of her formula. She finished it days before the US State Department ordered Americans abroad to return home. Two years later, she returned to Potentino to map out her scent walk so that others could escape to Tuscany—in a voyage real or imagined—and stumble upon the buried magic of this castle’s hills.
Susan Barbour is a poet, scholar, artist, wine expert, and perfumer. She earned a DPhil in English Literature from The University of Oxford, an MFA in Poetry from Johns Hopkins, and a BA in English Literature from Dartmouth College. She also holds the Level 4 Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and is a certified French Wine Scholar. Her international lectures, workshops, and art exhibits explore the role of scent in human connection--both with one another and within our natural environments.
The scent comes in an elegant 60ml bottle with braided bulb spray.
This limited edition also includes a silk twill 60cm x 60cm foulard with rolled edges. The scarf is printed with the Potentino scent trail map and the Susan Barbour’s poignant essay about the olfactory experience.
Nota Bene: This an Olfactory Digression. It does not comply with IFRA regulations and is not designed to be worn on skin.
It may contain allergens.