The ongoing normalization of ambient scent creates a growing need for diffusers. In most cases diffusers convey some distinct atmosphere: it might be somehow esoteric or rather technical. But there are very few products we have seen so far that seem to resonate with current design culture.
We have been looking at cars as “olfactory artifact” for quite a while. In fact, the automobile sector is part of a larger interest in the aesthetic and experience economy.
There is a long lasting history of dealing with scent in pop music. More recently, Jeans for Jesus, a widely known player in the local pop music scene in Switzerland, made an interesting move:
Unsere Scent Culture Initiative erlebte einen kurzweiligen Abend mit bekannten und vor allem auch neuen Gesichtern und Ideen aus unterschiedlichen Bereichen. Lucas Heusser hatte Drinks und passende Düfte vorbereitet.
Beim nächsten Mal geht es vielleicht nach draussen…. aber das sehen wir noch…
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“Now sight is superior to touch in purity, and hearing and smell to taste.” – ARISTOTELES
Graphic designer Sarah Hyndman thinks that the shape of a letter can impact the way stuff tastes, smells, and sounds. To her, typefaces are multi-sensory experiences that affect the way we interact with the world around us.
The genesis of private property has been a recurring theme in political philosophy since ancient times. In his essays on the five senses the French philosopher Michel Serres proposes a “smelly theory of private property”:
In addition to light, sound, color and other design dimensions scent is increasingly used to influence human emotions and behavior. Aromatherapy is the discipline that has developed this expertise and knowledge of centuries. Scent Marketing is currently an obvious case. But there are also non-commercial contexts as this story from Eindhoven reports.
“Perfumes are the soft-focus lense on our rough daily existence. They are the invisible, user-friendly interface in daily human interaction. They are sheer present – yet we have unearthed their primordial past. They seem pure phenomenon – yet they contain memory, erratic and unpredictable. And although they seem to lend themselves so well to the game of pure simulation, they do have dark and uncanny origins.” – HANS RINDISBACHER
There are different ways how to address smell in advertizing. Campaigns in perfumery are an obvious case. Moreover, we recently discussed how even negative feedback on the olfactory quality of a product is used in advertizing. The example of today stands out in a different way.
“Duft, Design & Kultur: Wo bleibt das Riechen in der Creative Economy?”, this is the title of an upcoming talk (24 January 2018, 19.00) at the Inatura in Dornbirn.
In today’s art world the sensorium is focused on the visual. A closer look however reveals that the sense of smell should no longer be neglected. Here is an ethnographic story from hanging out with art collectors at a recent edition of Art Basel that might be more telling and revealing than any systematic survey.