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Breathe in Bruce LaBruce’s ‘Obscenity’

Canadian filmmaker unveils his first perfume

Bruce LaBruce says his perfume project was inspired by the experience of having his work shipped back from international art exhibitions and film festivals. Canadian customs agents would frequently seize the work, then send LaBruce a form with a box ticked next to the word “obscenity.”

Bruce LaBruce

Why just watch Bruce LaBruce’s obscenity when you can breathe it in?

The Canadian filmmaker, who calls himself “the reluctant pornographer,” has concocted a limited-edition unisex perfume called “Obscenity.” The project was inspired by his work being returned to him from international art exhibits and festivals, labelled “obscene” by Canadian customs agents. “The whole idea was to recuperate the word and make it not something dirty or shameful, but something sexually provocative,” LaBruce says.

The scent is a mix of the sacred and profane, combining 27 essential oils, including frankincense, cedar and sandalwood with holy water from Lourdes. “It’s warm, flowery and excotic,” LaBruce says. The scent was developed with German perfumer Kim Weisswange.

In true LaBruce style, the bottle cap, designed by Jonathan Johnson, shows a naked nun in heals kneeling on a holy wafer perched on a tongue. “Putting the body of Christ on the tongue has always had a sexual or sensual connotation,” LaBruce says.

The perfume will be available at his latest art show, also called Obscenity, at Chez Priape in Montreal’s gay village. The installation will feature 22 images, a making-of documentary and a 90-second commercial.

It launches Thurs, Aug 28, at 10pm and will run until Sept 1 — just in time for Montreal Fetish Weekend.

And if you think this is obscene, just wait for LaBruce’s upcoming project: a film called Twincest. Can you guess what it’s about?