eau de parfum PERFECT JAPANESE WOMAN
- a perfume art for filling imaginations for a perfect Japanese woman -
perfume artwork, installation (2008)
This artwork consists of 4 fragrances. Like in a perfume shop, you are free to spray them on the paper strips, smell them, and even to wear them. After spraying, please allow 20 seconds until alcohol vaporizes completely, then enjoy the smell.
Each smell symbolizes how Japanese society expect women to be. All the essences are manually extracted from the natural (raw) materials with distillation method or alcohol extraction method by the artist.
No. 1 Nukamiso
- the scent of motherhood -
There is an expression about housewives in Japanese: "A woman that stinks like Nukamiso". It's an expression for the women who are so much stuck in the family life that they are not attractive as women anymore.
Nukamiso is salted rice-bran paste for making pickles. Every family used to have a bucket that looks like a sauerkraut barrel. The Nukamiso paste needs daily maintenance. Therefore the hands of the housewives used to stink pretty sour like Nukamiso . Mentioning such a smell was used as a metaphor for insulting housewives.
But that is slowly becoming the past. Nowadays, Nukazuke became something to buy at the supermarket, so no woman knows anymore how to make Nukazuke at home. In the near future women that stink like Nukamiso would not be seen with the traditional sense, but would be recognized as super feminine and sexy women! Don't be too late. When you serve Nukazuke to your husband, make sure that you spray this perfume on your hands, so that he thinks that you've made it yourself. This is the eternal scent for motherhood.
(It's a pickling paste made with rice bran. It smells like 'zaurkraut'. I used alcohol to extract the smell.)
No. 2 Tatami
- the scent of freshness as new tatami
A Japanese proverb says: "Wives and tatami's are better when they are new."
Tatami is the traditional Japanese carpet and floor woven from rush. The traditional house is made with tatami and shoji (rice paper doors and windows). New tatami is always preferred because it's clean and also giving the fresh and comforting smell of rush. However the smell disappears as time goes by. That has become a metaphor for a wife.
You would question: is it only a wife that is better when it's fresh? How about a husband then? Let's leave that question aside for a moment. If you want to feel fresher and younger as a woman, this perfume is ideal for you. It's the perfume for any generations.
* Most of the Japanese women give up their jobs and become pure housewives when they get married or when they get children.
(Japanese people make hard carpet with weaving this grass. The whole floor of Japanese house is made with this mat, so it's an important substance of Japanese house-smell. I used alcohol to extract the smell.)
No. 3 Miso Soup
- the scent of a woman in the kitchen -
A happy morning is to wake up with the sound of the kitchen and the smell of miso soup – that's the traditional image of a family. Japanese people eat a warm meal in the morning. Perhaps it has already become the past.
If you want to wake up your family with such an elegance, this perfume can help you. This Miso Soup Perfume can be used as a room spray. The family will wake up with the happiness resulting from the smell of Miso Soup.
This perfume is also useful for fooling the nose of your husband, in case you want to pretend that you've been working all day in the kitchen.
(It's a national soup made with miso, a fermented soy bean paste. I made the soup in the flask and extracted the smell with water distillation method.)
No. 4 Soap
- the scent of pureness and cleanness -
One of the most important morning rituals for Japanese high school girls is to wash their hair just to scent the hair with the smell of shampoo. If you don't have time to take a shower in the morning, you can scent your hair and your body with this perfume: the smell of the soap.
Japanese men prefer women that represent pureness and cleanness. Don't worry if you aren't. This perfume will also emphasize the attractive contrast in yourself.
* Japanese people like the smell of soap very much. Women often purchase perfumes that smell like a soap.
(I scraped a soap and extracted the smell with water distillation method.)
Gallery Roodkapje, Rotterdam (PREMIER), 09.2008.
Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, 17-25.10.2009.
World Technology Network Award, New York, 07.2009.
Artists Summit Kyoto, Japan, 12.2009.