Fragrant patterns in big data !

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...

Niche & mainstream consumer culture

It is holiday season. This is the time of the year to feature perfumery on the front page. One would expect a portrait of one of the big brands, a review of celebrities, some sort of general interest. 

Symbol of the self

“The odor is a natural sign of the self as both a physical and a moral being. The odor is a symbol of the self.” – ANTONY SYNNOTT

“I sense therefore I am”

Cogito ergo sum is often regarded as the fundamental element of Western thought that laid the grounds for rationalism, scientific progress and modern dichotomies: I think, therefore I am. The title of this post is less well known: I sense therefore I am.

Do the captives actually smell the fire?

A few days ago, I happened to come across this visualization of Plato’s thought provoking Allegory of the Cave. What the captives see and hear are shadows cast be objects they do not see. But what about the fire?

Olfactory demonstration

Tobacco smell is pretty marginalized these days. In many professions smokers are stigmatized. Public health is certainly an argument. Culturally, it is an extreme change compared to previous times. The new smoke-free is normalized. 

New product scents

The Swiss retailer 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...

Scent Culture Monitor

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...

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Olfactory turn: Smellshots

A snapshot is a “casual photograph made typically by an amateur with a small handheld camera”. It is an “impression or view of something brief or transitory“. And what is a smellshot? Our new category smellshot aims at exploring this notion. Stay updated and enter your email address to follow us!...

Breathing in different sensory worlds

“Americans and Arabs live in different sensory worlds much of the time and do not use the same senses even to establish most of the distances maintained during conversations.” – EDWARD HALL

Enchanting worlds

It was the social theorist Max Weber who identified progressive disenchantment as an underlying process of modernity. More recently, this creed of modern thinking has increasingly been challenged. Thus, enchantment often evokes the sublime and refers to an aura of authentic presence. Moreover, enchantment has been used as an analytical...