Two Poems on Perfume by Anne Gorrick + Scented Paintings

these two perfume-inspired poems by Anne Gorrick are by turns intricate and expansive, concrete and ephemeral. They sparkle with sensual language, and shimmer with celestial spirit. “Perfume is invisible.  Many people roll their eyes at it, as if you’re asking them to believe in ghosts.  There is a flaky, new age, intellectually negligent perception that surrounds scent,” Gorrick explains in an interview at Galatea Resurrects. “But it’s an entire realm that is completely Proustian, sometimes plangent, dimensional, symphonic.”

At Aromatica Poetica, we could not agree more!

Besides being a poet, Gorrick is a visual artist, and I’m delighted to present some of her work here from a series called The Late October Threes. She told me in an email that she is “mainly working in encaustic, which, in addition to being beautiful, also smells amazing (beeswax, pigment, resin).” Sadly, we can only offer the look not the sniff, but technology will hopefully remedy that someday…

Acqua Decima

(after a perfume by Eau D’Italie)


“Fragrant Star” is a polyploid form
of the deciduous azalea ‘Snowbird’ (1940)
A fitting denouement
or a fictional moon-sized spacestation and superweapon?
The Flying Kyosho Space Ball is an R/C Death Star and air freshener in one
a moon-sized Imperial military battlestation armed with a planet-destroying
glow which is delightfully fragrant, bright
Smell translates to taste, and hits a mind-numbingly zesty citrus to make this bourbon
A Death Star won’t be a part of the U.S. military’s arsenal any time soon
because I loved it to death

There will be weight loss surgeries

Reviews. 5 star: (142). 4 star: (22). 3 star: (9). 2 star: (8). 1 star: (4)
Without this amazing hand cream, I probably would have got an infection or bled to death
We once drove hours to hear him talk about death
its fragrant palm leaves
how luminous stars mock and exhale carnations
Death, euthanasia – Single Essences: Forget-Me-Not, Fragrant Water Lily, Indian gardenia
Despair – Single Essences: Alpine Shooting Star, Amaranthus, Blackberry
No need to decorate and perfume the star player to death
This vigorous, heavy grower has clusters of delicately fragrant star-white blooms
The nectar is also toxic to honeybees, and causes brood death
Quanah, meaning “fragrant,” was born about 1850
An exception to the other aspects
the Stranger represents death and the unknown
One of the central holy texts of the Faith is The Seven-Pointed Star

They may also stuff the body with fragrant herbs and salts

Well Sonic Death Monkey smells a bit like an extra chocolaty, grown-up version
of nocturnal fluencies, the bowl seethes, a flutter, a turbulence
Goodbye, Shanghai and your Sea of Fragrant Snow
Find a fragrant flower like myrtle or jasmine (also a fragrant, white, star-shaped flower) to inhale
The weak and the sick will not get ahead!
From the Star to Death – just a few short paces, the fragrance of gold brings the odor of lead!
You need to soak a Death Star in your cup
A Death Star filled with sweet fragrant tea leaves
This silver space station may not shoot lasers but
“That’s no moon, that’s a death star tea infuser”
for your deep and tawny oceans

Of all the spiritual stars, Catherine of Siena is one of the very greatest incorrupt bodies

To my surprise, I am now able to use the fragrant varieties without adverse reactions
People on Twitter named my new fragrance Violet Eyes
Myrrh: A fragrant perfume, used in embalming bodies
The fragrance is not as strong or pleasant as some of the less colorful
it slowly crept all the way up and my Stargazers DIED a horrible death
After her husband’s death
she took up
the art of perfumery
the art of creating dusks
In New York’s ballrooms fragrant with mingled scents
certain saints
at the time of their death or many years later after they were exhumed
were found to have a sweet fragrance issued from the coffin
Hong Kong’s name may mean “fragrant harbour”
but cargo ships burn dirty fuel
in what is one of the world’s busiest ports

He is composed of all the subtle bodies (7 or more)

She repudiates lead flags
In her dream
butterflies burst like smashed plates
Still, there are voluptuous firearms
with death’s burst inside hot glass
its bottled starwater, its lemon supernovas
There is sticky toffee gingerbread in this dream
The op-ed begins by saying, “We need death panels.”
This machine is bleeding to death
its fragments directly determine
the fragrant-oil content of the myrrh resin
Of course, when you smell fragrant perfumes, you are blessed

… inflammation (or swelling) of the airways of babies, and even death

Rose lingered in his mouth
Turkish Delights, he … Professor Taylor was the second death caused by his damned curiosity
He panted heavily … Moving that orb was like pushing a star in the night sky
It wasn’t supposed to be beautiful, fragrant and… poisonous. Especially for cats
There was the fragrance of grass
WHERE CAN I FIND IT? Most supermarkets carry star anise
“The Press, the Hooker, the Peer and His Fragrant Wife”,
only present during the night and is reminiscent of lily
She tells Suzuki to prepare a fragrant bath and asks how long she will have to wait for him.
Note the details of the failed Madonna
her bell-shaped, her reflexed and waxy
saffron dusks and sorrows, pale prayers
I dream of a certain fragrant room
where we’ll all end up nut-brown and fragrant, with yolks smoother than butter

Encaustic monotype with graphite, charcoal and walnut ink on kitakata paper (16" x 20"). By Anne Gorrick.

Unapologetic Perfume

Archetypal botanical familiar things
like dogears
or obstinate busybodies that favor a shot of icy vodka
Express the bold solar elements of summer
in a rich plum
Mary opens a large jar of expensive perfume and pours it on Jesus’ feet
Maybe he’s the love child of Ziggy Stardust and PJ Harvey
painfully beautiful
in the art of guerilla review

Guerlain whilst
Juicy So Intense Lux

Aviation Club, that 60’s powerhouse of cologne architecture
I don’t care if you think my lipstick is too dark, or that there are guns and squids on the bottle
A larger line of bespoke
not pretty but raw, classic
Roucel risks everything to craft fragile beauty out of despair
It’s a bit like journaling
except with bottles of Nude RevlonColorBurst Matte

I have never truly understood the dotted line
the illusion of warmth

Body Empowerment across the bottom line
Cocktail rings from ancient times are my forte
Stone / Beachwood / Heretic
encased in the luxurious mirrored
flash-the-flesh, oozing adverts
The next thing in question is whether you’re spineless
the perfume equivalent of a vertiginous heel
Condition: New
Delivery: Courier
This Ford-ian opulence
This jasmine sambac like the electric heartbeat of an otherworldly animal
It’s like all the stars have aligned in her crazy-girl, windshield-smashing, Deluxe Unboxing
Frito-Lay, announced the launch of a perfume — Cheeteau
Very rude. I mean, I never
There were elixir clones of expensive popular
People with Type O blood
In this apocalypse, it will be:

Drowned World/Substitute for Love
Living for Love Swim
Devil Pray Ray of Light
Ghosttown Candy Perfume Girl
Unapologetic Bitch

The brutal candor in Guerlain’s anthology
This androgynous Chanel masterpiece, created the year I was born
an orphan cast off by deliberately synthetic top notes
easy to wear as a white t shirt
Richly interpret my signature

Loud giant wall art
at required kiosk understaffed likewise

I was going through my drafts and found this:
Calvin Klein must think “real men” smell unapologetically cheap
Don’t bite the hand that crushes it
Coffee, Marlboros, a Rolodex, a Bach playlist
Truth: Duality. Sin is my twin. Its soft petally quality

A vibrant, saturated, coral pink that verges on
a neon velvety balm-like burlesque event
The peppery scent is like a trip in the woods

… to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life
(2 Cor 2:15-16)

not to be blind bought
Put it all together and, for me, the scene is set:
a fruity floral designed for rebellious girls
Have you done something naughty that you should feel sorry for, but just aren’t?
Let us know all about it

These musings come from a fragrant white lace dress by Nini Nguyen
Pink 100 gloss; preciseintense saturatedpigmentednature
apply on top of audacious
Perform this
Everyone knows you’d rather be vacationing in Santorini
hand-picked, sourced
They love my smell. I still got my money
Yes, it’s peppery and synthetic
and I keep a rolodex of perfumes on my desk to revive me mid-day
those classic rose heart notes

I own this Circus Fantasy
Forgiveness is violet

Encaustic monotype with graphite, charcoal and combustion marks on masa paper (21"x 31"). By Anne Gorrick.

*Anne Gorrick is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of seven books including most recently: An Absence So Great and Spontaneous it is Evidence of Light (the Operating System, 2018); My Beauty is an Occupiable Space , a collaboration with John Bloomberg-Rissman (Paloma Press, 2018); and The Olfactions: Poems on Perfume (BlazeVOX Books, 2017).  She also co-edited (with poet Sam Truitt) In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Writing from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill Press, 2016). She serves on the Board of Trustees at Century House Historical Society, home of the Widow Jane Mine, an all-volunteer organization devoted to the historic preservation and investigation through the arts of the now defunct cement industry in Rosendale, NY. Anne Gorrick lives in West Park, New York.*