The web facility Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.  The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from 2004), and the vertical is how often selected terms are searched for relative to the total number of searches, globally.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-12-17 um 16.52.12

Our comparison of a few olfactory terms reveals some peculiar pattern:

The Swiss retailer http://www.digitec.ch is currently running a thought provoking advertizing campaign. It is basically broadcasting what customers wrote about a product on the retailer’s website. This feedback needn’t be positive. It can be devastating. But it must be interesting. And in fact, the product scent – intended or accidental – occurs frequently as a matter customers care about.

In 2015, we started Scent Culture News to shape and build scent culture as field. Following our mission  we have highlighted and connected fragmented themes, ideas, references, and projects that relate to the sense of smell in culture, business and society. More recently, we made a pause and reflected on recurring themes, issues and concepts. As a next step we want to shift our attention from merely disseminating news to a more provocative approach: The launch of our series of smellshots  is a first consequence.The heading “Monitor”  serves as an umbrella for posts that inform about new development, share observations and commentaries. Thus, the posts from the old Scent Culture New site have also recently been imported to this site.

Visual representations of smell are one of the core themes of our presence on Instagram: Wheel, circle, and pie have recently appeared as recurring and influential visual metaphors. The fragrance wheel created by Michael Edwards is perhaps the most prominent example these days. But the history of visualizations demonstrates that this is only one example out of many.  The visual metaphor of the circle or the wheel has been used to classify urine smells. The colour, smell, and even taste of urine was used to both identify particular illnesses and provide patient prognoses, from Hippocrates to the Victorian era. The practice, called uroscopy or uromancy, was, according to the Doctor’s Review, “once the number-one way to diagnose disease — and predict the future”.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database is a prominent go-to for all things health when it comes to cosmetics. Last February, Unilever joined this fragrance disclosure scheme. Accordingly, Unilever announced a bold new initiative to provide detailed information on fragrance ingredients for all products in its multibillion-dollar portfolio of personal care brands, including Dove, Noxzema, Lever 2000 and NEXXUS. The announcement was characterized as a major move that could dramatically alter the personal care and fragrance markets.