Have you ever noticed how your headphones smell? Do you expect a review of headphones talking about the olfactory qualities of the product? The recent review by Wired demonstrates the necessity of a multisensory product design:
“A couple of years ago, the luxurious leather-wrapped Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H7s were named our favorite Bluetooth headphones. The over-ear H7s sounded as gorgeous as they looked, and they even smelled great. (…) And while the new $300 Beoplay H4s aren’t exactly bargain-bin cans either, they offer nearly the same roster of specs as the H7s for $100 less. (…) The headphones are lighter than the H7s, even though it’s clear Beoplay didn’t skimp on materials. The duotone aluminum-and-stainless-steel skeleton is wrapped in lamb-skin leather, so rest assured they should still smell pretty good.
Avery Gilbert tweeted about this current case on food odors in Italy. It fits in a boarder picture of normalizing a strict olfactory regime. Interestingly, this case is once again connected to migration issues. There is even a new legal terminology: “olfactory molestation” as The Telegraph reports:
Cooking may be a national passion, but Italians who allow the pungent aroma of a simmering pot of pasta sauce or a vat of deep fried fish to waft into a neighbour’s home are committing a crime, the country’s highest court has ruled.
In the best traditions of legalese the world over, the Court of Cassation in Rome even came up with a term for the offence – “olfactory molestation”…
The Times recently reported that a schoolgirl died after being overcome by fumes from her deodorant while on a family holiday: “Paige Daughtry, 12, was so worried about her personal hygiene that she used body spray as if it were “going out of fashion”, a coroner was told. It is believed that she overused it after a swim on July 18 and that a “volatile substance” in the fumes affected her heart rhythm. She was found by her mother, Ann, 36, lying face down in a bedroom of a caravan that the family, from Oldham, was renting at a holiday park near Blackpool. She died two hours later in hospital despite attempts to revive her. Her can of Right Guard deodorant was found near the ensuite bathroom.”
Wool-blend tees are promoted for keeping your outdoorsing stink-free as Wired reported: “Your cotton thrift store tee isn’t going to cut it on days like these. Thankfully, a new breed of synthetic wool shirts offers a lightweight, tough, breathable, and stink-resistant alternative. Combining the durable, sweat-wicking qualities of synthetic nylon with the super-soft, odor-killing abilities of Merino wool, these shirts raise the bar for blended synthetic tees.
Studio Folie is an olfactive design studio founded by Kaya Sorhaindo. It is known for projects that inscribe new meaning long associated with classical perfumery such as Le Cinema Olfactif . The more recent project Olfactive diaries is a collection of interviews and contributions by artists in response to Folie A Plusieur fragrances. In the context of scent culture it is a project worth noticing for numerous reasons: The questions ascribe agency to the scent: “If your scent were a person where would it be?” or “If your scent could talk what would it say?”. Moreover the questions as well as the entire project encourage the user to cross over different sensory modalities: “If your scent were a texture how would it feel?”. Browse through the diaries…