If Mark Rothko had not been badly shaken and internally torn apart by his severe depressive illness throughout his life, he would not have had to experience the escape with his family from anti-Semitic persecution in the USA as a ten-year-old boy, what would his painting have looked like?
These pictures, which have made him one of the most important representatives of American color field painting and abstract expressionism: If there had ever been a sufficiently strong neurotic impulse in him to paint them?
Pictures that are meant as decorative art prints, misunderstood in almost all cases, hang in every second office of the authorities. Pictures that sometimes form vibrating color spaces of several square meters in the original, dark, violent, from which the light is sucked out and in which an all-encompassing darkness spreads. The painter wanted them to be hung in darkened rooms which the viewer should approach at a distance of 45 cm in order to directly experience their desperate emotional world - drama, tragedy, fate.
If he had been a happy, life-affirming man, this Mark Rothko, and his painting had served confidence, not despair, his paintings would have become spaces of horizontally stacked lightfulness.
I imagine these reduced colored areas of a mentally healthier, joyful Rothko, floating, white, gray, green, pastel, creating brightness, silence and hope like a sunrise seen on a foggy morning.
I'm sure there never would have been these pictures.
But there is L´Original by Andrée Putman.
"When I wear L'Original, I can rest in myself instantly, no matter how upset or depressed I was before."
These wonderful words do not come from me, but they describe very aptly how this fragrance works. I see his layers of colour in front of me: an almost white surface, central, determining. White pepper. A much more subtle, precise quality than "peppery hot", better: aromatic, focused, defined.
A further colour space, green, pastel, fresh, floating: coriander, it mixes with the pepper on the edge, but remains independently perceptible as a green quality.
In the background, in the lower image area, a gray tone, wood, whichever, withdrawn, solid, matt, the base.
The coloured areas are surrounded by a rosy shimmer, a hint of a watery unsweet floral scent.
I don't know what water lilies smell like. I own a water-filled whiskey barrel, planted in a sawn-through whiskey barrel, hibernated at this time of year, standing at the entrance to the house, delighting me and our visitors all summer long with pastel yellow flowers. I've never noticed a scent before, but the scent name "Water Lily", perhaps also an allusion to a long-running theme of impressionistic painting, fits perfectly, even if it's possibly a fantasy creation.
I hardly know of any other fragrance that is so reduced, simple and noble that it creates such an effect of silence and focus. I remember Mojave Ghost hovering in a similarly pastel way, but here a strong alcoholic juniper blue-green, on top a surface of rosy, powdery iris.
Especially at this time of year I find this fragrance impression very appealing in its simple elegance and reduced casualness. One has smelt oneself a little tired at all the loud, resinous, incense, balsamic winter scents, the operatically elaborate compositions one loves so much, and this scent sends one a wonderful premonition of light, vastness, new beginning, collection.
"Silence is so accurate." Mark Rothko
I thank Turandot for the opportunity to get to know this beautiful fragrance.