The Art of Good Scents
  • Aien Mokhtar

Matahari - The Inspiration & The Story

The Inspiration

Matahari is a bottled memory of my childhood, of my late great grandfather. I am a descendant of a mixed bloodline; Javanese on my mother's side and Chinese on my father's side. My Javanese ancestors were originally from Sumatera who migrated to Malaya via the straits of Malacca and anchored in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan. Jelebu's economy was mainly agricultural. Majority of the Javanese immigrants who decided to have a foothold there found means of generating income by working in paddy fields or fruit orchards.

My great grandfather was a man of faith whom also worked the land. When they moved to Seremban, they acquired a land and built them a house that sat on top of a hill, in the middle of a fruit orchard that could only be accessed by foot. The orchard that surrounded the house thrived better if the surrounding terrain was left as much untouched as possible, making the journey to my late great-grandparents' house an adventure set in nature with backdrops of tropical shades of brown and green. The pathway that led to the house was under a green canopy of 50-years-old trees with barks as big as three of me put together. As a kid, I looked forward to trips to my great grandparents' house.

The house was surrounded by fruit trees - the king of fruits-durians, were planted at the plot infront of the verandah, several different hybrids of rambutans and mangoes were planted on the west-side, mangosteen and variety of guavas on the east-side. A good size flower garden was also located in the east-side. As I opened the windows from the dining area, I was greeted by the sight of a very shady Java apples tree lusciously covered with its bell-like, fuschia-coloured fruits. That was the beginning of my love for fuschia.

Further up, were some rows of watermelon lining the ground, a cluster of jackfruit and cempedak trees and on even higher ground to the north were clusters of coconut trees. Memories from those visits and of my great grandparents came at the sight of the color fuschia and of the sweet-smelling scents of fruits and flowers that scented the air of my childhood.

My late great grandfather was blessed with green fingers. He could plant anything and make it bear fruits. He was the ultimate nurturer, a patient man, reserved with a contemplative demeanour. He was a man of few words, but his eyes showed great depths.

With the creation of Matahari, I wanted to capture the memories of my childhood, the memory of my late great grandfather and his love in tendering to his fruit trees.

The Paris Edition: Created in Malaysia, Made in France

The Composition

Matahari is a floral-fruity composition, an interpretation of a time of joy and innocence under the tropical sun, in fruit orchards and open fields.