Sonic Alchemy, Sonic Art and Perfumery.

Everyday we learn new things or at least should try to…there’s wonder in the world to be explored!

MusicACT is a government initiative to support and promote the live music industry in Canberra, Australia. This is the first year of it’s inception and they’ve been running some very informative workshops for artists from all levels of the industry.48358279_919654461557565_2199617644666028032_n

Last night I attended the last one for the year – Music Chats: DIY Degree With Your Local Promoters. There were a panel of speakers and several guest artists in attendance also. This is where I had my virginal experience with Sonic Alchemy, Sonic Art and Perfumery.

Sonic Alchemy is a brand owned by Clancy Baxter who is a Professional Level Course Graduate of PerfumersWorld and also has an interest in musicianship although he confesses he is much more in tune with perfumery.

How do Sonic Art and Perfumery go together?? Well that’s best explained by Clancy on his Sonic Alchemy facebook page ( –

“Sonic Alchemy combines the two worlds of sonic art and perfumery in a pursuit to create truly unique perfume. SA represents experimentation and the creation of wearable olfactory art. Clancy also thrives in transforming paintings into perfumes! Enjoy.”

What I experienced was something very thought provoking and it left me fascinated by possibilities of implementation.

Clancy introduced himself and his purpose to the group and then his assistants handed out a small slip of paper that had been impregnated with a scent Clancy had previously developed especially for this occasion.


Clancy explained that this scent was Primal and that we should take occasional sniffs and not smell it the whole time. He suggested we close our eyes listen to the electronic music he provided via sequencer and drift into an alternative state of senses.

I have to say that it was a bit of a surreal experience for me on the whole. The combination of engaging sets of senses in this environment was experimental to me. I must admit though that this particular scent was very strong and with a delicate and keen sense of smell I didn’t need to bring it any closer to my nose than my lap for the experience.

Whilst I focussed on both elements I think I got more out of the music itself  but I did for a brief minute get an inkling into the artform that Clancy is so passionate about and here I am a day later still wondering about the whole concept.

The question is – Is there an appreciation for this type of artistic interpretation in the community and beyond? Well it seems there is here in Canberra as Clancy has sold some 300 bottles of his perfumes to the general public via market stalls.

For a more in depth insight into how the scents are created and the artistic element of each one visit the menu section on Sonic Alchemy’s Facebook page for a complete rundown (

I think it’s going to be one of those things that takes a great amount of work to convince the public and develop a fan base but that’s no different to any other creative pursuit.

The whole concept is intriguing, mind altering and fluidly interpretative but I think we just have to be open to it and embrace the newness, enjoy the experience and we need someone like Clancy Baxter and Sonic Alchemy to show us how!

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