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The Art of the Scent: An Exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design

Here’s a new word to add to your vocabulary: olfactory. According to Dictionary.com, this term is defined as “of or relating to the sense of smell.” I recently attended an exhibit entitled “The Art of the Scent,” a truly unique experience.



I am completely unfamiliar with the history and creation of perfume. This exhibit opened my eyes up to an artistic process that I barely knew of.



The exhibit is laid out in a medium-sized, cream-colored room. That particular day I went, there were cameramen filming a speaker discussing the exhibit, presumably for the website. Therefore, I started at the last part of the exhibit, where one is able to sample various perfumes. The displays at this exhibit are absolutely stunning! Everything is artfully arranged. There are no glass bottles; rather, the visitor must take a piece of sample paper, and place into a clear container in order to sample the perfume.



The scents were heavenly and delightful! I got a whiff of Jicky by Guerlain, first released in the 1800s! Other perfumes include the world-famous Chanel No.5 (five was Coco’s lucky number!), refreshing L’interdit by Givenchy, a Prada scent, Olivier Cresp’s Angel, and many more! My favorite scent was entitled Light Blue, if I remember correctly.



You can see the steps involved in perfume making at this exhibit. On little paper cards on the wall, each step was written on the making of Tresor by cosmetic company Lancome. The exhibit also incorporated technology. Using an iPad, the visitor could pick two words to describe any of the perfumes he or she had scented. The words are an adjective and a noun. For example, Chanel No.5 was determined by the majority of people to smell like “old money.” I chose my favorite scent, Light Blue, to be “fresh kitchen.”



Beyond this lovely area, the visitor could also read more information about each scent through an electronic projection of the wall. Following this brief introduction, the visitor could smell each scent by sticking his or her nose into a little indent on the wall. It was such an artful, unusual touch to the exhibit.



The downstairs area of the museum also features a gorgeous exhibit on glasswork. There was a dress made of glass, as well as numerous colored glass sculptures.



On the first floor, there was a lovely jewelry exhibition. There were bangles engraved with unrepeatable terms, dainty gold trinket boxes, and even a hanging installation decorated with diamonds. The gift shop also featured unusual jewelry from worldwide designers, trinkets, stationery, glassware, and organic restaurant guides.



Though exhibit ended February 24th, these scents will forever remain in my mind.



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