Scent Culture Monitor

Scent Culture is a rapidly expanding aspect of contemporary culture, business and society as well as an exciting intellectual field: The air condition is increasingly made explicit. Yet, numerous oderiferous phenomena and their economic, cultural and social relevance have hardly been explored and remain under-theorized. In 2015, Scent Culture Monitor was launched to capture this multiplicity of developments.

Building the field

Posts labelled as Scent Culture News inform about new products, services, exhibitions, books or initiatives.

Scent Culture Comment & Review shares our observations, commentaries and reviews, reflects on broader contexts or introduces an anecdotal snapshot. Scent Culture Comment & Review is also a platform for revisiting icons in pop culture or cultural history from a scent culture point of view (e.g. the series Ferdinand &).

All in all, the Scent Culture Monitor follows an exploratory approach of highlighting and connecting fragmented themes, ideas, references, and projects that relate to the sense of smell in culture, business and society. Some of these have been out there for a long time, some have just appeared somewhere, and others may just be emerging on the fringes. Scent Culture Monitor brings attention to and legitimizes what might be regarded as negligible, irrelevant, or marginal.

Shaping the field

We want to be broad enough to be relatable to a range of stakeholders, but specific enough to be meaningful. Each post should contribute to the understanding of “scent culture”. Time and again we will make a pause and reflect on recurring themes, issues and concepts: What can we learn about our economy, culture and society? Are there business opportunities? How is our understanding of scent culture nuanced? We might then readjust the focus. One can call this an inductive approach. This is the reason why we do not start with a definition upfront.

Inspiring the field

We hope to inspire new initiatives that increase the exchange between domains, theory & practice. We are happy to share our experience, insights and ideas and welcome like-minded initiatives. As such, we hope that the blog can enable the development of collaborations that otherwise may hardly happen.

Inviting criticism & discussion

Our selection is open to criticism and we are grateful for all kinds of feedback. We cordially invite submissions and suggestions.

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Some recents posts:

Macht & Duft: Politiker als Nase (10/10/2018) - In diesen Tagen vor der Landtagswahl in Bayern verdient der amtierende Ministerpräsidenten Markus Söder besondere Aufmerksamkeit. Dabei überrascht ein Portrait mit Bezügen in die Bildwelt des osmanischen Reiches: Was also verbindet Markus Söder mit einem Sultan?
Smelling outer space: “intimidating” (10/3/2018) - ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst has taken over the role of International Space Station commander from NASA astronaut Drew Feustel earlier today. This is a perfect opportunity to highlight his recent interview with Jan Böhmermann on how out space smells.
Wo bleibt der Duft? A new whiff of politics? (10/2/2018) - In the ongoing election campaign in the German state of Bavaria the neoliberal FDP tries to sell the political agenda with the whiff of a new car scent and triggers some controversy. What is “aseptic” about it as the FAZ argues? Is it authentic? Or is this a new step of fake politics? 
“We-Feeling”: The sociality of scents! (9/30/2018) - What is social or even political about scent? This Scent Culture Comment & Review reveals some of the implications of a casual interview.
Following an artisan perfumer: “Duftspuren” (9/8/2018) - This post takes a look at artisan perfumers. It discusses the autobiographical record by Sven Pritzkoleit published in 2016.
Ferdinand & current research (3) (8/18/2018) - The Story of Ferdinand is a much acclaimed classic children book written by American author Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. Since its publication in 1936 the story has generated a wide range of readings. This essay looks at Ferdinand as a possible icon of science communication. It shows how the story corresponds with the current state...
Ferdinand & the King of Happiness (2) (8/11/2018) - The Story of Ferdinand  also has a remarkable cinematic history: This post revisits the short animated film adapted by Walt Disney 1938 and reveals its craftmanship in showing olfactory practices.
Ferdinand & the pleasures of olfactory perception (1) (8/7/2018) - The Story of Ferdinand is a much acclaimed classic children book written by American author Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. This post reveals the fragrant (and so far widely ignored) message of the plot. It is the first chapter in a new series Ferdinand& of Scent Culture Comment & Review.
More than functional bottles: Scent & Symbolism (7/28/2018) - A recent exhibition on perfumed objects and images provides the context for a few remarks on the role of flacons. Even after the finassage the catalogue deserves more attention.
Risky media buzz about scent (7/11/2018) - Marketing experts tell us that negative headlines get much more attention: