Searching for scented memories: Submerged in Endy Chow’s World of Senses

22 Feb 2018

Singer-songwriter Endy Chow recently completed the ‘Night on the Galactic Road’ concerts and found that at the last concert, he finally let his tears overwhelm him, tears that he had tried so hard to hold back. “If one could turn tears into a perfume, this perfume would be bright and light,” he said. Having been both in and out of the music industry over past few years, Endy said that every time he comes back it feel as fresh as a citrus perfume, which helps rejuvenate his creativity.

Endy Chow: “Composing is similar to creating a fragrance; it starts from nothing and comes from the depths of one’s heart. If the process of composing a song could be distilled into a scent, then it would be sweat, tears and the smell of blood.”

Vision, hearing, olfactory, taste and touch constitute our five senses. Endy Chow claims he is definitely a visual person: “Shapes and forms are vivid in my mind, they help me write my songs.” Endy lets me in on a little secret. “I can’t read music notation.” He continues, “I don’t think in terms of musical notes; all I need is a picture in my mind, then I can hear the melodies.” Memories associated with scents are just as vivid. “Strangely enough, when I was a child I liked to wait in the car at petrol stations, secretly rolling down the windows to smell the petrol. Now every time I smell petrol, the interior of that car, the texture of the seat, the scenery outside the window reappears right in front of me. I’m often surprised by how powerful smell can be,” Endy added as he summoned his earlier scented memory.

We found that many parents have profound memories of their children’s scent, and some perfumes are even inspired by a parent's memories of their children or the love a mother has for her daughter. As a father of three daughters, Endy has his own parent-child bonding scent. As he explains, “When I smell the sweetness of milk on my daughters, that brings me back to my childhood. When I was young sometimes I wouldn’t go to sleep and my nanny would hold me in her arms and coax me to sleep. When I smelled the scent of milk on my daughters, I could almost hear her in my ears again. And I remember when I was seven or eight, I secretly took a sick stray kitten home. Although the kitten only lived for a week or so, the memory of bringing her to the vet and feeding her milk has stayed with me all these years. Every time I smell milk I always get a sense of security, knowing that the little ones are taken care of.”

The sweetest of milk represent his role as a father; but as a song writer, what kind of aroma would that be? “Composing is similar to creating a fragrance; it starts from nothing and comes from the depths of one’s heart. If the process of composing a song could be distilled into a scent, then it would be sweat, tears and the smell of blood.” Endy loves citrus tones. “I always smell the peel from a tangerine when I finish eating one,” Endy smiles. He loves the smell of citrus for its freshness, and if he wanted to express his love for citrus tones with an image, it would be the tranquil moment before sunrise in the mountains, right after a climb. “It’s a moment so full of life, where anything is possible, a feeling of exuberance.” Having been both in and out of the music industry over past few years, Endy said that every time he comes back it feel as fresh as a citrus perfume, which helps rejuvenate his creativity. And I couldn’t agree more: we all need a boost when life drags us down, and spraying ourselves with a citrus perfume on a humid day releases a refreshing clear bouquet that elevates the spirt.


Scent representing Endy:

Maison Francis Kurkdjian | MASCULIN PLURIEL

masculin Pluriel is the immaculate combination of leather, woody and fougere tones, with lavender absolute from Provence as the principal ingredient, and finished with exotic eastern red cedar, vetiver from Haiti and patchouli from Indonesia. The perfect embodiment of Endy’s temperament: masculine on the outside, sensual on the inside.