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Ground Control - Bare&Bond - Bare&Bond

Ground Control

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Moon Walk by Marina Barcenilla



Ground Control: A fragrant ode to Earth. 

  • Top notes: Black hemlock, fir balsam, cedar leaf, ozone.

  • Middle notes: Guaiacwood, sandalwood, incense, cedarwood.

  • Base notes: Moss, vetiver, petrichor, agarwood, amber resin.

As a Planetary Scientist and Astrobiologist I have thought deeply about what kind of strange and alien experiences humans might have on another planet. As a Perfumer, I know that memories and olfaction are intrinsically linked, and I have always found it easier to express my deepest thoughts and emotions through fragrance, so I can’t help but wonder what kind of scents might help space explorers connect with their home planet when they’re millions of miles away from Earth with their feet on another world. With Ground Control I pay homage to our home planet. 

I imagine coming back to Earth after centuries of travelling through our galaxy. My first glimpse of home is of a distant blue marble suspended in space; breath taking, familiar, yet alien at the same time. As I get closer, clouds begin to appear; creating a patchwork of white and blue that slowly separates, allowing flashes of green and brown to break through, piquing my curiosity. As I descend towards the surface, the swirling patterns of blue and white give way to greens and browns, finally exploding into a myriad of earthy shades. 

The canopy of conifer trees opens up ready to receive me and I land.  With trepidation, I step out of my space craft, leaving behind the familiar smell of machinery and recycled air, to be greeted by an olfactory collage of black hemlock, cedars, spruce and fir trees. The heavy smell of sap hangs in the air, blending with the scent of moss and bark, bringing in a resinous and earthy quality that pulls the aroma of the green treetops towards the ground. There, it softly dances with ancient roots breaking through the forest surface, covered by damp soil and wild grasses freshly bathed by rain. There I stand, on the majestic Earth of my dreams, with its wild oceans and fresh winds, with its ancient trees and soaring mountains, its flowing rivers and bubbling springs, its carpet of green and brown bathed in cleansing and nourishing rain. I am home.