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Vaadhoo (Alienor Massenet for Memo)

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

This article was written for, and first published in CaFleureBon.


1. Australia. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland,’ Gert Sellheim, 1930-1939. Creative direction and digital editing for Memo Vaadhoo by a_nose_knows


What a joy,

to travel

the way

of the heart!


Don’t wait any longer.

Dive in the ocean,

leave,

and let the sea be you.

-----------------------------Rumi



2. Vintage Portugal ©thetraveltester. Creative direction and digital editing for Memo Vaadhoo by a_nose_knows


Before the internet, there was the television; before television, there was the cinema; and before the cinema, there was the printed picture, bright and perfect and in surreal angles, bringing the faraway closer, and impossible worlds right to the eye of the beholder.



3. ©A slice in time via amazon. Creative direction and digital editing for Memo Vaadhoo by a_nose_knows


Travel posters were produced for over 100 years by literally everyone: import-export firms, shipping services, car manufacturers, villegiature agencies, airways and railways and national governments alike used this glorious eye candy to provide an escape from the mundane and to show others a glimpse into an alternative reality.



4. ‘Varmland, Sweden. An unspoiled mecca for tourists,’ Beckman, 1936. Creative direction and digital editing for Memo Vaadhoo by a_nose_knows


As such, en ensemble, they followed the course of the times and—if one should look at enough posters spanning a wider breadth of time—one would discover not only fantastic pieces of beautiful ephemera, but also clear references of changes in society, culture, art, fashion.

This blending of art with localized consumerism and a historical documentation function is what makes travel posters accessible, loved, and highly collectible.



5. ‘By train for seaside holidays! Take a Kodak,’ Gert Sellheim, cca 1910-1959. Creative direction and digital editing for Memo Vaadhoo by a_nose_knows


Apart from the artist+scarcity formula, the only thing invariable, indissoluble, and universally accepted when it comes to collectibility is this: a travel poster is always better with some sea in it.

And the more sea, the more sought-after: with a notable exception (the 1938 lithograph created by Man Ray for the London Underground, which sold at Christies in 2007 for over $100,000), most intensely-hunted travel posters usually show some sky, some skin, and a whole lotta sea water.



6. ©A slice in time. Creative direction and digital editing for Memo Vaadhoo by a_nose_knows


Vaadhoo by Alienor Massenet presents similarly atemporal and conceptually natural; it sits beyond symbolic associations with an aplomb I’ve only seen in self-assured creative intent.

The elements that speak first are wet and rugged and seem sharp: breath-taking patchouli, tarry vanilla, bitter green cores; one could almost get distracted by its wide-open intensity save for several gentle whiffs of textural, warming notes that in the beginning provide crunch (ginger, water flowers, basil) and then, pulverulence (saffron; turmeric; dusty immortelles). Throughout it all, like liquid seeping through limestone, an overall notion of tannins; iodine; salt; wild. It really does feel like the rocky imprints on a beached body; like the surreal light seeping through your lashes; like the layered sounds of the faraway.



7. Gone, going, go. Photo, creative direction, and digital art by a_nose_knows for Vaadhoo by Memo


I don’t really know where this fragrance starts and where it ends, because unlike most others it seems to multi-layer not on a top-middle-base pattern, but in a

top

top middle

top middle base

middle base top

base top middle

etc.development, surreally repetitive like the craveable dream of each day of a vacation.


Official notes: Ginger, immortelle, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, oudh, geranium, bergamot, rhubarb, saffron, cedar, violet leaf, jasmine


Other perceived notes: tea, salt, fenugreek, wet flowers, basil, iodine, turmeric, camomille, wet stones, animalic chalk, plastic.


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