Scrimshaw is the name given to scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Typically it refers to the handiwork created by whalers made from the byproducts of harvesting marine mammals. It is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of sperm whales and the tusks of walruses. The making of scrimshaw began on whaling ships between 1745 to 1759 on the Pacific Ocean, and survived until the ban on commercial whaling. The practice survives as a hobby and as a trade for commercial artisans. Scrimshaw essentially was a leisure activity for whalers. Because the work of whaling was very dangerous at the best of times, whalers were unable to work at night. This gave them a great deal more free time than other sailors. A lot of scrimshaw was never signed and a great many of the pieces are anonymous.
When we were in Wellington, we took the tram to the top of the hill, to the Wellington Botanic Garden, established in 1868. In the upper station we discovered the Fragrifert parfumeur™. Gustave Fragrifert (1880-1911) was a brilliant French perfumer who never managed to bring a single one of his exquisite perfumes to market, As a result, his name and work were about to be forgotten by history. Fortunately for us, fate had other plans. As luck would have it, in 2011, a century after Fragrifert went missing in the jungle of Borneo never to emerge again, some of his possessions were discovered in New Zealand where they made their way into the hands of budding perfumer Francesco van Eerd. Having just completed his training, van Eerd recognized the outstanding quality of Fragrifert’s formulations and, counting his lucky stars, realized that he found himself in the unique position of being able to rescue Gustave’s magnificent olfactory oeuvre from oblivion and Fragrifert parfumeur™ was created to make his gorgeous fragrances available to the world for the first time. Francesco has created those few of Gustave’s olfactory masterpieces that he has so far been able to reconstruct according to his meticulous albeit veiled instructions.