Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by the look and smell of tar. In the street where I lived, in the summer, they would repair the pavement. And I would be sitting at the window watching tar being dropped, black, liquid, glistening. And then a machine would come to stretch it and make it smooth. It was mesmerizing. After that, the smell of hot tar would linger for days. I loved that smell. Now, I remember and imagine Tar as liquid drops of black honey, or melted licorice candies. I imagine what tar could smell like in a fantasy world. Smoky, sweet, woody, dense, caramelized. Delicious and powerful. Strong and beautiful.
Miguel Matos has been an arts and culture journalist for the past 2 decades, and some years ago he found a way of turning an old obsession into a job: he is a scent critic and Scent Art curator.
He is one of the editors and columnists at Fragrantica.com and Fragrantica.com.br. He organizes exhibitions on art and olfaction for galleries and museums: Synesthesia Project / Per Fummum (Miguel Justino Gallery, Lisbon, 2015), Making the Body Think (Casa da Cerca Contemporary Arts Center, Almada, and Institute for Art and Olfaction, Los Angeles, 2017). He wrote the books Artistas Portugueses em Discurso Direto (Guerra e Paz ed.) and O Zodiaco Perfumado (Pergaminho ed), as well as many art shows catalogs.
He is also the creative director of a fragrance capsule collection with his name within the brand SP Parfums (Suntanglam, Lisbon Blues, Funfair and the upcoming Nowhere Fast).
He likes to talk, and he regularly hosts the series of lectures Perfume Sniffing in Lisbon as well as scented experiences with wine and scent for the Enoteca de Belém (Lisbon). Honorary member of the Perfume Bottle Association. He is a collaborator and writer for special projects at Parfums Grès.
Miguel was recently recognized on the top 5 finalists at the Fragrance Foundation Awards for Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage (2017) and was also nominated for the Perfumed Plume Awards in the same year.
Miguel Matos was the winner of the best perfume in the independent category at The Art and Olfaction Awards in 2020 with the perfume Young Hearts.