Reg Vardy Gallery in Sunderland, England recently hosted a fascinating scent art exhibit called “If There Ever Was: an exhibition of extinct and impossible smells.” The exhibit, put together by conceptual artist Robert Blackson, considered scent as “integral to the perception of abstraction and representation.” The scents created for the exhibit were inspired by their absence: we would never, ever otherwise be smelling them because they don’t exist. For example, the scents of four extinct flowering plants were created based on mixing aromas of their existing relatives with historical reports of how the extinct flowers smelled. Other scents in the exhibit included the surface of the Sun (created by heating various metals known to be part of the sun), communism, Hiroshima, “surrender” (did you know incense was once burned in the middle east to indicate surrender to an advancing army?), the Titanic, the Russian space station Mir, the last meal of a man who was executed in 1990, and more.
Fortunately for those of us who couldn’t be there, all of the “extinct and impossible” scents from the exhibit have been reproduced in a book, pictured above.
Participating artists included Kóan Jeff Baysa, Mark Buxton, Bertrand Duchaufour, Christoph Hornetz, Christophe Laudamiel, Patricia Millns, Steven Pearce, David Pybus – Scents of Time, Geza Schön, Sissel Tolaas, and Maki Ueda.
Read more at the Reg Vardy Gallery’s web site
Buy the book from Word Power Books
Consumer expert Michael Solomon dissects and illuminates the inner workings and desires of people who buy stuff in his latest book, “The Truth About What Customers Want.” Available soon from FT Press, the book looks at how customers respond to scent, as well as other facets of what and why people purchase. It looks like an important addition to the library of any good marketing firm.
More at Publishers Weekly
Buy a copy from Powell’s
Franz Dill has written an interesting review of Avery Gilbert’s book, “What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life,” which he posted in his blog “The Eponymous Pickle: A Site Devoted to the Discovery and Application of Emerging Technologies.” The review is worth reading, and apparently, so is the book.
Link: The Eponymous Pickle
Scent marketing is heating up, folks. I just received word that two new books are due for release at this summer’s SCENTworld.
Pictured at the left is What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life, by Avery Gilbert, chief scientist from the Scent Marketing Institute. Mandy Aftel says it’s “an insider view of the science and culture of smell,” and “an erudite, witty and opinionated guide.” It can already be pre-ordered from Amazon, and is due for release June 24, 2008.
And then there’s Whiff, which will focus on scent in marketing and design. From the book’s web site: “In addition to reporting the merits and scope of this global business phenomenon, Whiff offers readers diverse practical how-to strategies that industry leaders and entrepreneurs can put to good use in their own businesses.” It’s subtitled The Revolution of Scent Communication in the Information Age, and authored by C. Russell Brumfield and James Goldney. Brumfield is co-founder of a consulting company called “Whiff Solutions,” and is a member of the Scent Marketing Institute’s advisory board. He was on the Scent Marketing panel at GlobalShop 2008 earlier this month.
Olfactory scientist Rachel Herz’ “The Scent of Desire,” about the relationship between olfaction and emotion, is hot off the press. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m seeing some really interesting reviews around the net.