The intention is to replace uninspiring descriptions (or names of chemical compounds) with words that feel more precise and radiant. This can be evocative and a beautiful way to help transport, but such flowery language can also end up flattening the remarkable function of blossoms. Did you know that Dracunculus vulgaris is a purple lily that smells and stinks like meat? Or that typical pollinators of daisies are personally drawn to the flower precisely for its earthy, fecal-like aroma?We are not trying to gross you out! We are delighted and inspired by the ways flowers are multi-faceted. Please enjoy this non-exhaustive list of ways in which the language of flowers has been explored.
The performance artist Pope L. is known for his fantastic and grueling endurance crawls. He’s traversed through a seedier Times Square in a wool suit, and even wore a Superman costume (complete with gardening gloves!) for another. However, our personal favorite and perhaps his most endearing is his Tompkins Square Crawl, from which he can be seen crawling with a potted dandelion. His crawls obviously unpack important questions about inequality and vulnerability, but it’s also this specific humor that transcends our definitions of floralcy.
Watch his interview about this crawl here.
A FLORAL BLUR
A still from Jonas Mekas,' Flowers.
Jonas Mekas is the forefather of avant garde film. Long before our own obsessions with personal documentation via Instagram, Mekas clearly understood the expansiveness of the small things that lived and became noticeable in our daily lives. Mekas, to us, perfectly encapsulates what we mean by exploring the language of flowers. Beyond olfactive, we can't deny that flowers are just supremely pretty! In this film, flowers are presented with whiplash. Colors are blurred and flash across the screen.And the effect is simple and strong: beauty stops us.
A FLORAL TOUCH
In a children’s book about distant cultures and myths, the following description is about a so-called race of people called The Astomi:
In additional appendixes about mythical creatures, they are called the “Apple Smellers” or mouthless people. In Pliny’s work, “Natural History” (AD 77), they are mentioned as being covered in hair and can die at the drop of something foul-smelling. We personally can’t determine how the mythos of the Astomi began, but we’re glad that something as fantastical as them (even if just legend) exists!
Our limited edition collection. Floriography is the secret language of flowers, a story told through arrangements and iconography in art and literature across cultures for thousands of years. Jasmine Petals (pictured above) is the articulation of a fresh bouquet bought on your corner bodega. Grab it here while supplies last!
EXCURSIONS IN FLORALCY, POPE. L, JONAS MEKAS, FAUSTA, PERFUME JARGON, NOSE NOTES.