SCENTESTHESIA

Synesthesia: the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. Scentesthesia: the reinterpretation of scent through other sensory input. In particular, music.
Amber Iman

Amber Iman

 

Patrick Kelly: Hi Amber. Tell us about your interpretation of the concept “scentesthesia” and how it inspired your playlist.

Amber Iman: Scent is so personal and can instantly conjure all sorts of feelings and memories. When you asked me to share which Sigil fragrance was my favorite, I indecisively struggled to pick just one. I think this is because each fragrance works like time travel. They all remind me of very specific moments and hold different energies.

PK: That’s beautiful. Thank you. I’d love to hear more about the moments and energies each brings to you.

AI: Solutio makes me feel vibrant and provides a clean slate. Amor Fati takes me back to summer times with my Aunties and Khalas, who adorn their vanities with fragile glass bottles of oud.

If I had to choose today, for the springtime here in Los Angeles, Prima Materia is my everyday fragrance. I'm in love with the sparkling neroli and cleansing white sage combination. This is the one that inspires and transports me to magical and desert landscapes. It smells so damn good in the sun.

Prima Materia instantly elevates. Like the creative process, it begins with a spark. A spark that transports, transforms and lingers—urging one to dream further. Finally, it leaves you feeling golden in your skin, slightly intoxicated with your brain on fire.

Amber Iman Photographer Creative Medium Format

PK: I love the connection you draw between scent and creativity. Did that play into your process of track selection when creating your playlist? Tell us about your mix, Amber.

AI: I wanted to make a playlist for when inspiration strikes. It’s genreless and a bit all over the place. So, yes, it is similar to the creative process in that messy sense. With art and creation, I often think about layers within people and this idea that we are constantly evolving. I used to find it sad, this idea that people change. But everything is transient and you are allowed to change your mind. I think we all have versions upon versions that exist within ourselves—everyone is multifaceted.

PK: Are there any examples of specific tracks that reflect these ideas of impermanence—of beautiful change?

AI: Khruangbin is a fun example of this multifaceted nature. They fuse psychedelic funk, classic rock, and middle eastern soul with everything beyond and in-between. They’re unpredictable and refuse to be confined to one box. When I need instant serotonin and inspiration, I listen to Khruangbin.

PK: Fabulous. I can’t wait to close the blinds, spray some Prima Materia, and jump into your playlist. Is there anything else you want to share with listeners before they push play. How would you describe the rest of the listening experience?

AI: As cheesy as it sounds, this playlist is full of songs that remind me to reach for the stars. I hope I’ve captured that moment of clarity and utter thrill that occurs after being stuck in a creative rut. It's that ecstatic, supercharged energy you feel when a new idea sparks and you’re just running with it.

Some tracks are glittery and soft. (queue Dorothy Ashby and Charlotte Day Wilson). Others are inspired by jetting off to distant lands—on this planet and elsewhere. (Fly me to the moon and let me dance among the stars, please). And of course, big energy from Ms. Diana Ross and Khruangbin.

The way Sigil’s warm fragrances coexist with me and transform has led to many introspections and new ideas I hope to bring to life. Thank you, Patrick, for creating your cosmic scents that helped me dance out of a creative block. I hope these sounds urge everyone to dream, dance, and absolutely go for it.

PK: Adore you, as always. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you, Amber. Thanks for playing.

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