The Swiss retailer http://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 – occurs frequently as a matter customers care about.

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 that addresses the visual challenges of scent culture: How are scents rendered visual? This is the unterlying question of the insights (e.g. images, scetches, logos, posters, ads, snapshots, clips and pictures etc.) that we share on Instagram.

Here are the slides of the recent the talk: Beyond the Juice: The Role of Blogs and Awards, The discussion at the Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO) in Los Angeles was recently featured on the Fragrance Foundation website in a brief piece by Dawn McCoy. And below is a PDF of the presentation for Beyond the Juice: The Role of Blogs and Awards.

Artistic perfumery has essentially been about the juice from its very beginning in the late 1970s: Jean Laporte started L’Artisan Parfumeur and  focused on the juice as well as its creator. Later on, corporate players became interested in this vibrant segment and launched their own niche lines. More recently, the Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO) was created, signaling a comprehensive “new approach to the olfactory arts“ (Saskia Wilson-Brown, IAO founder’s statement, 2012). Consequently, the IAO’s prominent Art & Olfaction Awards highlight the artistry in perfumery. In fact, the awards propose to celebrate the value of the juice, and the juice alone.