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...

Smelly wheels: In search of alternatives

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...

Culturalizing Scent!

We have fleshed out some of the guiding ideas for Scent Culture Institute in our contribution to Designing with Smell: Designing with Smell: Practices, Techniques and Challenges – an impressive volumen honoring the work of Victoria Henshaw : Culturalizing scent! 

Mission

“Smell may not seem a profound enough problem to dominate all the life sciences, but it contains, piece by piece, all the mysteries.” – LEWIS THOMAS

Ignorant smelling

“We thought it necessary to begin with the sense of smell, because of all the senses it is the one which appears to contribute least to the knowledge of the human mind.” – Etienne Bonnot de CONDILLAC 

Fragrant future

“We live in an age of ephemerality: The point for me is to expect everything else to become like perfume” – BRIAN ENO

Ingredient disclosures & stakeholder pluralism

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...

Smell matters in migration politics!

In the context of the ongoing controversy on migration politics in Germany, Thomas de Mazière, the Federal Minister of the Interior, joined the group of advocats of a Leitkultur: “Wir sind nicht Burka”.

How do you see scents?

The ephemeral materiality of scent eludes the conventions of visual representation. Instead, the specific sensory qualities of the sense of smell remind us of the many constraints of our snapshot society. Thus, one of the more recent projects initiated by Scent Culture Institute is an open collection of visual material...

Gallery exhibition at Berlin: Perfume in art & fashion

Michael Müller, best known as a sculptor, shows in his recent exhibition at the Berlin based gallery Thomas Schulte a series of small sculptures taking the form of perfumes, soaps etc. The perfume contains a drop of the artist’s sweat as Michael Müller remarks in an interview: