If our perfume inspired by the stankiest block in NYC was just too subtle for you, then you may want to head to The Hole tomorrow for a whiff of Obscenity.
It’s not by Calvin Klein. It’s by Bruce LaBruce.
The out and outré filmmaker’s debut scent will be unveiled at the opening of a solo photo exhibition that riffs on sexual and religious ecstasy. LaBruce, whose memoir is titled The Reluctant Pornographer, is no stranger to blasphemy: his next film, Santo the Obscene, is about “a beggar saint who performs miracles and heals people through sexual acts,” he has said. The Toronto resident’s campy flicks about zombies, Nazis, and sex terrorists (Give Piece of Ass a Chance) have violated enough taboos (and featured enough gay hardcore) that his work, he says, is frequently seized by Canadian customs and labeled OBSCENITY.
In fact, that’s partly what inspired the perfume. “Staring at OBSCENITY, eventually I came to realize that the word SCENT is contained within it,” he says in his artist statement. And so he got German perfumer Kim Weisswange to create what he says is a “potent fragrance” meant to be “sensual, erotic, and beyond the judgment of society or religion.” And he enlisted jewelry designer Jonathan Johnson to create a bottle that incorporates a holy wafer and features a “nun-sploitation” cap modeled after the curvaceous body of the jeweler’s fiancé.
The bottle, says LaBruce, is intended as a “sincere tribute to the sensual throes of ecstasy that cause you to throw your head back and fix your gaze toward heaven, a gesture generally reserved for fervid prayer or orgasm.”
“Obscenity” opens alongside “Go With the Flow,” a group exhibition of paintings, on July 10, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at The Hole, 312 Bowery, nr. Bleecker St.; both shows are on display through Aug. 23.