Monday, May 23, 2011

Scent From Heaven

I’m an avid believer in the power of the senses. Each sense has the power to transform how we are feeling – the touch of a loved one brings comfort, the taste of fine wine brings joy and the sound of a favorite song can make you feel 16 again. But the sense of smell might just be the most powerful of them all, with the ability to trigger personal memories – sometimes without us even knowing why.


New York magazine recently featured the perfume world’s Willy Wonka, Christopher Brosius’ quest to create the invisible scent. A perfume only certain people can smell, something that smells so good, you can’t smell it at all. The scent is designed as a psychological trick, inspiring emotion between people without their conscious recognition. So what’s in the scent that smells like nothing? A combination of jasmine, sandalwood and amber – a blend dubbed Where We Are There Is No Here.

Brosius’ whole career has been built on creating breathtaking fragrances. Diane Akerman’s A Natural History of the Senses inspired him with the statement:

“Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines, hidden under the weedy mass of many years and experiences. Hit a tripwire of smell, and memories explode all at once.”

Triggering these memories became his focus, and he went about creating all kinds of emotion-provoking scents. Soaked Earth. Gathering Apples. Wet Mitten. Clean Baby Butt. Irresistible! This guy has a nose for genius.

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