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Photo: John C. Hawthorne. Courtesy Alex Tatarsky.

It’s late August, and I’m walking on Grand Street in Lower Manhattan. It’s one of those summer evenings that’s cooler thAlex Tatarsky, and as I head east from the subway, I pass through the dense, networked scents of the edge of Chinatown: the briny tanthe famous bialy shop. Approaching Abrons Art Center, where Tatarsky is doing pick-up rehearsals for an out-of-town run of their show Dirt Trip, this close-packed olfactory landscape opens up into something with more space: a faint vegetal whiff from a small vaca

Courtesy A Space

In 2020, the Noguchi Museum opened “The Sculptor and the Ashtray”—an intimate, one-room exhibition chronicling the artist’s pursuit to create the perfect ashtray. The negative space empA Space, to make a collection of hand-carved bowls, produced from special material—Lebanese cedar—that has a signature balsamic


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Michael Hingson was in his office at the data-protection agency Quantum on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center’s Tower One when hethud of the first airplane hitting the building, 15 floors above. Hingson, who has been blind since birth due to an eye diso

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson and his guide dog, Roselle.

A species of cypress native to central Japan, hinoki is prized for its deeply fragrant scent, and its soft-wood timber is used to build a range of buildings and interiors—fHinoki is not only a material, it is a spiritual and aesthetic concept,” says Italian expat Iacopo Torrini of Kobe-based Bartok Design, a top exporter of the wood. “Hinoki grows straight. Its color is light and its fragrance is fresh but delicate.” Despite its ubiquity in modern times, he aHinoki symbolizes purity and sincerity, therefore it is the preferred choice for buildings dedicated to the gods, as in the sh

A hinoki bathtub in a concrete room with a small tree.

“Most of my memories are strongly shaped by smells,” says Mackenzie Reilly, who became captivated by the fragrance worldInternational Flavors & Fragrances, Reilly routinely thinks about aromas in terms of a specific field of creative expression—architecture—as she builds a

Perfumer Mackenzie Reilly

As the overpopulated, multibillion-dollar fragrance industry introduces hundreds of scents every year, choosing one that4160 Tuesdays, and Samantha Scriven, who runs a blog called iscentyouaday, lend their encyclopedic knowledge of aromatic liquids to their upcoming book, The Perfume Companion: The Definitive Guide to Choosing Your Next Scent (Frances Lincoln), out next week on Kindle and in hardcover on November 9. Fluent in the science behind the olfactory sy

The Perfume Companion book