In French, dirty engine grease, oil blackened by rubbing against the mechanisms of a machine.
As a classic car collector, my father taught me the beauty of vintage engines as a teenager, while I watched him restore his Austin Healeys, Jaguars and Mercedes. We spent long winter Sundays in his shop, sinking our hands into the entrails of his sculptures on wheels.
The smell of dirty engine grease has always both attracted and repelled me.
Though it was associated with happy moments in my life, this « engine sweat », with its pungent smells of tar, petrol and oil, was also disturbing.
Many years later, as I was reading Jacques Lacarrière’s book Ce bel et vivace aujourd’hui, I finally understood the hidden poetry of this “Black Mucus” and decided use it as a theme for my work.
My dirty engine grease will have the warmth of amber and animalic musks, tinged with the strange blackness of a guaiac wood and violet leaf accord.The sulfurous notes of cassis bud mixed with aldehydes will trace metallic outlines, while mandarin essential oil will add the gleam of chrome