Perfumism, manifesto (2010)

In 2010, Andy Tauer  reflected on his observations as a perfumer and initiated With perfumeshrine’s Elena Vosnaki at the editorial helm and joined by perfume writer and vendor Rebecca Veuillet-Gallot, the code of perfumism articulated the desire for true craft in perfume in opposition to the purely economic rationale of the industry. Perfumism culminated in the manifesto worth revisiting:

Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-28 um 08.47.08

Why do we post a link to perfumism today?

Scent Culture News follows an exploratory approach of highlighting and connecting fragmented ideas and references that relate to the sense of smell in culture, business and society. Some of these have been out there for a long time, some have just appeared somewhere, and others may just be emerging on the fringes.

Scent Verse: Muse Booze

Scent Verse is a poetry project curated by Basenotes writer Eddie Bulliqi that seeks to explore scent language and metaphors by publishing poems from contributors across different industries that either take scent as their inspiration or are very evocative of smell. What is interesting about the project is that it activates the potential of scent for translation processes. It stimulates to think through scent across various media and artifacts…




Beyond the little trees

The air freshener Little Tree epitomizes the state of contemporary scent culture. This might sound provocative.You might not have thought about it this way. But think about it: The tree-shaped air freshener was invented by Julius Sämann in Watertown, New York, in 1952. They are made of a specially formulated absorbent material and offered in a variety of colors and scents. And today Little Trees seem to be ubiquitous. The Car-Freshner Corporation fiercely defends its trademark on the tree-shaped air freshener. Yet, the scented trees have been featured in popular media, including the movies The Fisher King, Seven, and Repo Man. More recently however, an entrepreneur in Bern, the Swiss capital, came up with the idea of personalized air freshener: Deluxe Air.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-03-25 um 23.03.27

Olfactory Magazine “NEZ” in English

The emergence of publications have always been milestones for the development of fields and discourses. Thus the publication of an English speaking olfactory magazine is of significance. Bringing together articles, interviews, surveys and critical analysis with an olfactory focus, nez challenges us to use our noses to explore the world. Art, literature, science, history, perfume… Nez is unique in its diverse and informative approach and helps us understand how our sense of smell connects us to the world.




SCENT IN CONTEXT: Olfactory Art by Peter de Cupere

Overview book: 20 years working with scents

Texts by: Peter de Cupere, Caro Verbeek (Odorama & Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Ashraf Osman (Scent Culture Institute), Willem Elias (professor of culture philosophy, president of the HISK), Hsuan L. Hsu (professor of English at the Univeristy of California, Davis), Koan Jeff Baysa (The Institute of Art and Olfaction), Ruth Renders (art critic specialized in art and film studies).

Published by Stockmans. Already available in the exhibition Eens was ik een mens (Is This Mankind) in de Warande, Turnhout; soon online and in select art book & museum shops.

472 pages, 22 scratch & sniff images, over 500 works, more than 1500 images
3 kg, 29.5cm H x 24.5cm W x 5cm
English / Dutch (Nederlands)


DAS RHEIN RAUSCHEN: Ines Lechleitner / Andreas Wilhelm

Solo exhibition by Ines Lechleitner / Scent in collaboration with Andreas Wilhelm
Curated by Emilie Bruner at Villa Renata in Basel, Switzerland (Nov – Dec 2016)


Dialogue of the senses and nonverbal communication being core subjects in her artistic practice, the artist Ines Lechleitner started her research for a river perfume based on the river Rhine in Basel for her solo exhibition “Das Rhein Rauschen” curated by Emilie Bruner.

The exhibition explored what it means ‘to be in the river’, following the German expression ‘im Fluss sein’ which simply means being in the river but equally stands for fully participating in the flow of life. It displayed the scope of Ines Lechleitner´s multidisciplinary practice in photography, video, drawing, sculpture, sound, smell and performance. The elements of the exhibition constituted the base for the scent Das Rhein Rauschen which was developed with the Zürich based perfumer Andreas Wilhelm. The fragrance follows the riverbed and its sediments through a natural print of the Rhine filtered by a Minke whale and recalls its fast flowing, glittering surface reflected in the voice of Alessandra Eramo. When the analogy is made between a river and a perfume ones body becomes the shore holding out a river’s arm and the sound of the rushing waters can turn into the memory of rolling in wet grass.

The fragrance was part of the exhibition, is now available in a 50ml flacon and part of the artist edition box as a 10ml river-roll-on.

For more info:


Bill Gates on the “Smells of Success”


“I recently traveled to Switzerland to take a giant whiff of pit latrine odor. What I inhaled was a strong kick to the nostrils, a potent combination of sewage stink, barnyard sweat, and bitter ammonia topped off with vomit (or was it Parmesan cheese?). The stench was foul and made me wince.

Fortunately, I also got to smell something much fresher and more pleasing during my trip. I took the first sniffs of a future of odor-free toilets and better sanitation for all.

These olfactory revelations occurred during my tour of Firmenich, a family-owned fragrance and flavor company based in Geneva. The 120-year-old firm is known for crafting some of the world’s best-known fragrances and enhancing the flavors of beverages and foods. But it is also one of our foundation’s newest partners in the effort to improve sanitation in the world’s poorest countries.”

Read more at:

“There is a pleasure in the ‘Pathless Woods’”


The new Monda Gallery of Contemporary Art at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida opened on November 4 with a site-specific installation by American artist Anne Patterson, featuring a scent by Beau Rhee. Titled Pathless Woods, referencing a line of Byron’s poetry – “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods” – the interactive multi-media installation invites visitors to find their own path through a forest of ribbons, each directional choice leading to a unique experience.

Pathless Woods continues Patterson’s exploration into creating synesthetic environments, which begun with the 2013 project Graced With Light installed to great acclaim at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. This work features a musical piece, “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation” by Michael Gandolfi as well as projections by the artist Adam Larsen. On Thursday evenings a scent evocative of a forest and created specifically for the installation by Beau Rhee, will be sprayed in the galleries. Patterson believes the resulting experience will leave visitors feelings as if they are, “swimming through color.”

The exhibition, curated by Matthew McLendon, will run till early May 2017.

For more info, check out the museum’s website:

And this feature in the Herald Tribune:


MELANCHOLIA: Marion Colomer & Dana El-Masri


One of the most enjoyable aspects of what I do is the matchmaking—not of the romantic variety, but the artistic one. When DC-based French artist, Marion Colomer, contacted me about her latest project, Melancholia, I immediately thought of NYC-based perfumer, Dana El-Masri. Both were talented young women who shared, in my view, a similar approach to their creative work: one that is at once both romantic and refreshingly fearless. I was looking forward to what they come up with!


That combination is reflected in Colomer’s statement about her work, that its focus is the paradox. With that, her series Melancholia attempts to capture the paradox visually with a series of nude figures in lush jungle settings. While these surroundings are rendered verdant with deep saturated colors, the figures are depicted monochromatically with fragile pencil lines. So while the figures often occupy the foreground, they seem to recede back and disappear into their surroundings. This forces the viewer to get closer, revealing the rather erotic nature of these figures, and casting the viewer in a transgressive voyeuristic light. This intimate effect is heightened by the presentation of the work: one enters the space though a fragrant curtain of raffia strands to find the work lit, frameless, against a black backdrop.


Fittingly, Colomer states that her series starts with the paradox of a scent, “a perfume that would for some people smell like an exotic flower, a fragrance of a lost paradise, while others that experience this effluvia would behold something dangerous, a moist smell of soil decomposition.” El-Masri renders this brief smartly. Her “wet earth scent” opens, innocently enough and as promised, with a green damp earth accord. But the scent soon takes on darker aspects: not the darkness of animalic notes or patchouli, but the counter-intuitive darkness of toxic synthetic fumes. Recall the scent of opening the packet of a cheap plastic tablecloth or shower-curtain: that volatile, almost threatening, but also seductive glue-like odor? There is something unsettling, but also refreshing, about this incongruence—the natural vs. the synthetic, the colorful vs. the melancholic—which makes Colomer and El-Masri’s work that most seductive of things: human.


Melancholia is on view at the Arlington Art Center until December 18, 2016.

(Text by Ashraf Osman)