Memory is infinite, nothing touches it like the sense of smell
Christiane Stenger is Germany’s most famous memory athlete. She won the Junior World Memory Championships four times, and was the youngest ever World Memory Grandmaster at the age of just eleven. (To win the title of Memory Grandmaster in 2018 you would have to memorize the sequence of 11 decks of cards (572 cards) in 1 hour, 1040 decimal digits in 1 hour, and a single deck of cards in 90 seconds.)
'What I loved about working with Geza on my fragrance was discovering how scent triggers emotive memories. It’s as if that’s what fragrance really is – bottled memories'
She co-hosts the German TV show ‘German Super Brain’ in which participants memorize huge numbers of facts using memory techniques such as the one that Christiane herself uses. Christiane’s method is an ancient one that relies on a wild imagination to help embed memories in the brain.
'Anything can be remembered,' she says, 'so long as you create a crazy story round it, the wilder and more fantastical the better.'
Also an author, one of her recent books, Wer Lerner Will, Muss Fühlen, published in 2016, translates as Who Would Think, Must Feel: How our Senses enhance our Memory. The book grew out of her experience of learning about the sense of smell while working on the fragrance, Intelligence & Fantasy, with Geza Schoen.
She lives and works in Munich.
Dance is poetry made visible, fragrance is a dance of molecules invisible
Described by The New York Times as ‘in a class by herself' Polina Semionova is among the most gifted dancers of her generation.
She studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School from where she was plucked, aged 18, to become the youngest ever principal at the Ballet Staatsoper Berlin (Berlin State Ballet). ‘Polina Assoluta’, as Stern magazine called her, was immediately hailed as a star, noted for her beauty and ‘sibylline grace’.
'Creating this fragrance with Geza was an intense process that I fell in love with. Precision & Grace is something I have a deep connection to'
Semionova has appeared as a guest artist with many companies round the world including the Tokyo Ballet, English National Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, and the Bolshoi. For several years she was a principal ballerina with the American Ballet Theater in New York.
She is renowned for her luxurious extension and effortless poise, but also for an ‘arresting naturalness’. Maya Plisetskaya, the grande dame of Russian ballet, picked her out as the outstanding dancer of our time ‘because she dances emotionally’.
Polina’s repertoire includes Giselle in Giselle, Sieglinde and Brünhilde in Béjart’s Ring um den Ring, Manon in Manon, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Sylvia in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Terpsichore in Balanchine’s Apollo as well as William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. Her favourite role is Tatiana in Onegin. She created the roles of Cinderella in Vladimir Malakhov’s Cinderella and Creativity in Bigonzetti’s Caravaggio.
Polina lives in Berlin, and is married to fellow-dancer, Mehmet Yümak, with whom she has a young son.