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Every great work of art starts with imagination. Cezanne changed the definition of reality, he was able to realize that our impressions require interpretation; to look is to create what you see. Reality is not there to be seen; reality is made by the mind. This was Cezanne’s genius. NOW NEUROSCIENTISTS ARE PROVING THAT HE WAS CORRECT IN HIS THEORY.


In the brain the neurons prefer CONTRAST NOT BRIGHTNESS. This is essential for the seeing process, as it leaves space for our interpretation. Matisse said; “A THIMBLE FULL OF RED APPEARS BRIGHTER THAN A BUCKETFULL OF THE SAME RED.” What is stressed for visual processing in the brain are IMAGE, CONTRAST AND UNDERSTANDING at the expense of accuracy. This ambiguity leaves space for our interpretations. Cezanne left details out to show us what we can put in. His paintings were clearly incomplete, so that the brain would finish it for you. Cezanne only used the ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS, the necessary skeleton of form. The mind invents the form that Cezanne insinuates.


Kant wrote; “the imagination is a necessary ingredient of perception itself.” If the mind did not impose itself on the eye, then our vision would be full of voids. As Cezanne understood, SEEING IS IMAGINING.


What we see is not real. It has been bent to fit our canvas, which is the brain. When we open our eyes, we enter into an illusory world, a scene broken apart by the retina and re-created by the cortex. Just as a painter interprets a picture, we interpret our sensations.


Let us all be as Cezanne in the fragrance world. Let us leave some of the CANVAS BLANK AND USE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS, let us USE CONTRAST INSTEAD OF BRIGHTNESS. This should work in a fragrance because VISION, SMELL, STORIES, EMOTIONS all reside in the same area of the brain, the limbic system.



Categories: PERSPECTIVES Philosophical Perspective

ron winnegrad

Ron Winnegrad has been a Perfumer and teacher for 46 years. As a perfumer, Ron has been able to express the world he sees through a rainbow of olfactive and emotive visions. As a teacher, Ron has helped others to see fragrance through his own multi sensorial lens.

1 reply

  1. Wonderful post! What a gift our imagination is and how boring life would be without it. And we can each see a thimble full of red in our own way. 💜


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