A Unisex Fragrance That Smells Like Old Books, Created by a Portland Bookstore | The Slowdown - Culture, Nature, Future
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A red Powell's by Powell's book on a wooden table.
Courtesy Powell’s City of Books

The poster child for the gray-skyed Pacific Northwest, Portland is perhaps America’s most book-loving city. Reading is a perfect rainy-day activity, after all, so it makes sense that the town is home to one of the world’s largest independent bookstores: the four-story, block-long Powell’s City of Books. When the pandemic forced its temporary closure last year (the space has since partially reopened), the retailer was surprised to discover, through customer surveys, that what its patrons missed most wasn’t the books themselves. It was the bookstore’s smell.

Hence the company’s recent introduction of Powell’s by Powell’s, a unisex limited-edition fragrance, currently available to preorder for a Jan. 18 release after the first bottles promptly sold out last year, meant to evoke the musty scent of titles and shelves. In a tongue-in-cheek commercial for the perfume, with the cinematic style of a 1990s Calvin Klein ad, a bookish woman crisply describes its aroma while tinkly piano music plays in the background: “The scent of romance and graphic novels, with a hint of comparative religion and maps. Personal finance. Nautical history. Web development. Pools and hot tubs. Juggling,” she says, before the scent’s tagline appears on the screen: “If you can’t be there, at least you can smell there.” The bottle looks great on a bookshelf, too.

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The Perfume Companion book

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

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

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

Perfumer Mackenzie Reilly

“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

A stick of incense balanced with four pieces of stone

Anyone who’s ever inhaled the air in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian wing, which has the vaguest trace of millFolie à Plusieurs, the Berlin-born, New York–based olfactory agency he founded in 2016 that creates aromatic profiles in partnership withCo, a line of incense made by Kungyokudo, one of Japan’s oldest incense suppliers, each of which comes with a downloadableThe Virgin Suicides, The Lobster, and Blow-Up, presented through its Le Cinéma Olfactif series in theaters at the membership club SoHo House, where a custom scent dimuseum’s shop.)

Olfactive expert Dawn Goldworm

Olfactive expert Dawn Goldworm believes that just as children begin to learn colors, they should also be educated on sceThe Smell of a Rainbow (Dial Books), a scented board book, out this summer, that teaches children how to talk about smell using color. Connecting all her res

“The Sense of Smell in the Middle Ages: A Source of Certainty” book cover

How did people in the Middle Ages think about smells? It’s a question that Dr. Katelynn Robinson avidly explores in her Visual Odors, a website she created to trace how scents were depicted in medieval European art) and her book, The Sense of Smell in the Middle Ages: A Source of Certainty (Routledge), out next week in paperback. It’s the first comprehensive investigation of the period’s olfactory understan

A bottle of Loewe perfume on a straw chair

When the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH tapped creative director Jonathan Anderson to helm Loewe in 2013, it charBotanical Rainbow, released in March, that includes myriad botanically inspired perfumes, bottled in a kaleidoscope of colors.

A man wearing glasses and a striped shirt

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the aroma of freshly ground coffee upon walking into a café, or the particular bouqueDr. Michael Bull, one of the leading air quality and odor experts in the United Kingdom, has dedicated more than three decades of his ca What led you to choose a career in assessing odors and their relationship to architecture?

Stacked wood and glass orbs with a leaf growing out of the top

“Scent and architecture both take people on sensory journeys,” says architect Héctor Esrawe. “More and more, I believe iXinú (pronounced “she-new”), a perfumery he co-founded in 2016 with architect Ignacio Cadena and his wife, Verónica Peña. Thnose in Otomi, an indigenous Mexican language, and has since developed five unisex scents with Mexican perfumer Rodrigo Flor

A bottle of The Nue. Co.’s Functional Fragrance perfume.

Among the many olfactory ways to de-stress—sniffing a bundle of lavender, lighting a scented candle, taking a breath of Functional Fragrance with notes that soothe the mind, such as green cardamom, cilantro, and violet. Ninety-six percent of users the company

Five bottles of perfume on an ombre table

Years ago, while flipping through an old family photo album, photographer Maya Njie homed in on an invisible aspect of tsmells,” she says. She began experimenting with raw ingredients to make fragrances that capture a given image’s scene: The celfragrance line in 2016. These days, Njie mixes and bottles her gender-neutral scents by hand in her London studio. She’s also eager toevents page soon).

A woman and a man smelling bottles of fragrances.

For Shizuko Yoshikuni and Manuel Kuschnig, the Japanese-Austrian couple behind the Berlin-based olfactory design studio Aoiro, scent is essential to the success of any environment, adding an important experiential quality that goes beyond sight felt, not simply smelled.

Yellow air freshener on car dashboard

Driving requires keeping your eyes on the road, navigating a primarily visual adventure—but the right accessory can makeAiround car diffuser from Italy’s storied furniture maker Poltrona Frau and the Milan-based fragrance brand Acqua di Parma. Encased in Poltr

Four bottles of perfume next to a large quill feather.

“Smell can transport you out of wherever you are,” says Cathleen Cardinali, who left her job in the luxury fashion indusThin Wild Mercury with her partner, musician Anthony Polcino, in 2017. Place-based storytelling lies at the heart of its four scents, whi

A bottle of Byredo Mixed Emotions perfume on a white background.

Tumultuous times often lead to creative new measures. For Ben Gorham, founder of the luxury brand Byredo, the drama of 2Mixed Emotions, a new unisex fragrance made to evoke the bewilderment of a roller-coaster year. A spritz of it starts out with the str

A man's silhouette sniffs perfume near a bright window.

If you’ve ever wondered about the mysterious process of perfume-making, you’ll delight in watching Nose: The Most Secret Job in the World, now streaming on Apple TV, following last year’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. In the hour-long documentary, nez, or nose—perfume industry parlance for an expert perfumer-creator with a finely attuned sense of smell—and his sensoria

A bottle of Hermés's H24 in futuristic lighting.

In the 15 years since the French high fashion house Hermès released its Terre d’Hermès men’s fragrance, the scent has coH24 perfume, marked by a lively yet delicate bouquet, based on Nichanian’s ready-to-wear collections. But how, exactly, doe

A man's hands assemble a wooden bucket on a wooden floor.

In a year so necessarily and intensely domestic, it’s especially easy to appreciate the beauty and singularity of somethki-oke, wooden buckets traditionally used in Japanese onsen that have found alternative uses throughout the world, such as stoLes Atelier Courbet.) A seventh-generation master woodworker and artist, the elder Nakagawa, Kiyotsugu, and his son, Shuji, have collaborat

Dr. Pamela Dalton against a blurry background.

The mysteries surrounding our olfactory systems have been the focus of Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center since it opened, in 1968, more than 20 years before the discovery of the odorant receptors that we use to perceive scencreating and administering smell tests as soon as olfactory impairment emerged as a primary symptom for the novel coronavirus. We recently asked Dr. Dalton ho

An orange and blue candle on a wood surface.

The name Bernard may conjure different connotations for different folks—say, Senator Sanders, your favorite breed of mouBernard is the name of his fragrance brand, which recently debuted with a collection of hand-poured candles. “This is a scent mMeli, the Greek word for honey, is warm and sweet, with base notes of orris root and leather; Eira takes inspiration from Sc

Moso natural pouches inside a pair of sneakers.

Sweaty running clothes. The litter box. That odd funk emanating from the back of the fridge. Unpleasant scents can transMoso Natural, a line of odor-eliminating linen bags filled with an unexpected ingredient: bamboo. The California-based brand is name

Catherine Haley Epstein stands with her hand on her hip in front of several drawings.

Catherine Haley Epstein, author of Nose Dive: A Book For The Curious Seeking Potential Through Their Noses, is an artist and curator who specializes in scent and the ways our brains register it. Last year, with olfactory histoOdorbet, an ever-growing online database of terms they collect from various sources to describe smells. It also includes invent Why should we describe smells in nuanced, specific ways?

A diffuser from Fueguia 1833’s new collection of home fragrances.

“I don’t consider myself a perfumer,” says Julian Bedel, a former musician who taught himself how to make wearable scentFueguia 1833 in 2010. “I don’t know anything about perfume. My work is more of an artistic creation, and how I create the formulas i

Dr. Kate McLean smiles and holds her dog in a garden.

Dr. Kate McLean, who spearheads the graphic design program at Canterbury Christ Church University in the United Kingdom,“smellscapes”: colorful diagrams made of dots and wavy, concentric rings that detail where an odor occurs in a specific place, and ho

Author and professor Hsuan L. Hsu on a yellow background.

Covering everything from a detective story by Edgar Allan Poe to the role that scent plays in racism, the new book The Smell of Risk: Olfactory Aesthetics and Atmospheric Disparities (NYU Press) investigates how, over the past 200 years, writers, artists, and activists have used smell in their work to

Eleven bottles of perfume with a box and card on a white background.

In the last decade, the rise of modest, product-focused scent brands has debunked the notion that the fragrance industryFanny Bal, who based her creation on the aromatic sap from the lentisc tree that grows on the Greek island of Chios, and senior sDomitille Michalon-Bertier, who designed her fragrance around the Inhotim Museum, an outdoor art center located in a Brazilian forest. Perfumer Delphine Lebeau recently learned about the Japanese pastry mochi, and used a trio of musks to embody the treat’s soft, mellow profile. The resulting 11 fragrances were unveiled at a viavailable for purchase in the U.S. on the website Luckyscent—providing a nose around what makes these master craftspeople tick.

Colorful candles and boxes on a red and orange backdrop.

Scent has the power to transport us instantly to another time or place. Consequently, the evocatively perfumed objects fHomesick enable wistful souls to travel to a cherished holiday, family tradition, or any state in the continental U.S., as well New York City, pumpkin picking, and more abstract experiences, such as a ski trip or a book club), then translates their feedback into an authentic, recognizable fragrance. More than a momentary escape, the scents suRoad Trip candle by day, and Beach Cottage by night.

Author Cat Warren and one of her dogs, Rev, crouching in an autumn forest.

Anyone who’s ever owned a dog (or been owned by one) knows that scent is paramount to how canines experience the world. Cat Warren, a science journalism professor at North Carolina State University, this observation became something of an obsession. What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World, followed by an edition that translates her research for younger readers, newly out in paperback—that detail the remarkable, often life-saving power of a hound’s snout. “We humans are highly German Shepherd police dog, Trakr, who located the last 9/11 survivor in the rubble of the World Trade Center, or the pooches that find drowning victims more than 200 feet under the sea. “Dogs can help make the invisible visible,” Warren says. “We need to watch them closely, know they can help translate

A book cover with plants inside a vial.

Your nose knows best. So says Harold McGee, a leading expert on the science of food and cooking, and author of the new bNose Dive: A Field Guide To The World’s Smells. Developed over the course of a decade, the blockbuster attempts to unpack the science of scent by looking in great dep

A big, orange pumpkin on a green lawn.

According to Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, the neurologist and psychiatrist who founded Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Rehe told the medical journal Alternative & Complementary Therapies. “More than a hundred years ago Freud said that, in order for society to remain civilized, it was necessary to repress oIn a study conducted by Hirsch’s foundation, 40 percent of participants—who were each connected to a plethysmograph, a device that measures blood flow caused by se

The Scratch and Sniff Book of Weed on a white background.

Six decades ago, researchers at 3M and the NCR Corporation were looking for a more effective way of trapping ink inside functioned with scented oils that, when scratched, burst open, emitting their distinctive smells. The technique has since been used on stickers, stamps, and perfume-peddling magazine inserts. John Waters incorporated it into his 1981 film Polyester, when he distributed large cards that featured ten circular patches, laced with scents such as skunk and old shoes, forwine and whiskey, helps readers understand flavor through the scents of its aromatic pages, while co-authors Seth Matlins and Eve EpsteiThe Scratch and Sniff Book of Weed. Other titles employ the strategy in more subtle ways. Scent in Context, a deep dive into the work of Belgian olfactory artist Peter De Cupere, disperses hidden scratch-and-sniff odors among a journal from the California publisher Knock Knock that pairs scented stickers with writing prompts—a clever way to stimulate users’ emotions, creativity, and memory.

Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht laughing while holding a large bouquet.

Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht, founder of Wild Bloom Floral in Seattle, and the head judge of Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight—essentially, the fantastical floral equivalent of The Great British Baking Show—knows the power of an impactful blossom. Here, he tells us why a fabulous arrangement activates all the senses, and is

Cecilia Bembibre in a blue shirt, leaning over a table with a book.

“Smells can be a gateway to our history, helping us understand the sensory worlds of the past,” scent scholar Cecilia BeUniversity of College London’s Institute for Sustainable Heritage, Bembibre’s focus is rooted in the belief that smells are a crucial, if intangible, part of our cultural heritage—and hSmell of Heritage, a project that delves into the invisible layers often overlooked in historical accounts, archiving aromas that range f

Fouteen Le Labo City Scents perfume bottles above an assortment of natural objects and their city names.

Olfactory memories hold transporting qualities—a sensual power that’s oh-so welcome, as international travel remains on City Exclusives, an ever-expanding collection from cult fragrance company Le Labo, capitalizes upon our nostalgic, wanderlust desires w

The black D.S. & Durga perfume truck.

“Perfume has a wonderful ability to immerse people directly inside of a world,” says David Moltz, the self-taught perfum To be parked on various blocks throughout New York City, with on-the-fly location updates posted to the brand’s social mD.S. & Durga Fume Truck will soon hit the streets. In a city known for its not-so-glamorous sidewalk odors, this is one experiment we’re eager

An MRI of the human brain.

Smell is a highly individualized sense: The same odor or olfactory stimulus can trigger common, though not identical, reA recent study published in the science journal Nature suggests that our diverse experiences with scent have to do with how they are encoded in the brain. “All of us share a told The Harvard Gazette. “You and I both think lemon and lime smell similar and agree that they smell different from pizza, but until now, we d

The nose fragment of a stone sculpture.

Our sense of smell can cast mysteriously large impressions onto our memories—and it’s all by nature’s design. The olfactAccording to Harvard biology professor Venkatesh Murthy, olfactory signals even color other senses, notably taste. Molecules from food “make their way back retro-nasally to yo

A painting depicts a young woman smelling a red flower.

“Our sense of smell is entirely shaped by cultural phenomena arising as a result of specific historical processes,” RobeSmells: A Cultural History of Odors in Early Modern Times (Polity). The French historian and professor—who has previously written books on subjects including the devil, violence

A hand pours a bottle of red wine into a wine glass on a green background.

The saying “like a fine wine” is often used to describe something that improves with age. But, as any sommelier will telterroir, and how the wine has been stored and fermented—much of which sommeliers are trained to discern largely by scent, beforsaid on a recent episode of At a Distance, it all comes down to personal preference. “I think wine sometimes gets interlaced into geekdom, which is cool,” he told

Green celery growing in a metal pail.

Early August marks the start of planting season for celery. Picked in fall and early winter, it makes for a sweet and crcleansing benefits, or an easy snack on its own—though the scent of celery, curiously, is always much stronger than its taste. As a scent,

Disembodied plastic limbs on a grey background.

Short of a vaccine, masks and social distancing measures are here to stay, for the foreseeable future, anyway—and your nmicrobiological auras” were once normally exposed to, in actively out-and-about, pre-pandemic times. Our bodies, hosts to a community of micr

Chickens hanging around a grill in summer.

Holiday weekend or not, summertime means grilling time. A waft of burning hickory or charcoal from a smoky barbecue grilonce explained to The Independent, “Most of the flavor of smoke is smell.” Because scent is processed through the limbic system, the sensation also persi

A closeup photo of a green peppermint stalk.

With the summer season come longer days, more time spent outdoors under the sun—and, unfortunately, all of the attendant the arrival of murder hornets to fear, of course (as if this year hadn’t offered enough unwelcome surprises), and store-bought repellants are often l

Two hands holding ground tea leaves in white cups.

“What makes a good cup of tea?” anthropologist Sarah Besky asks, in the introduction to her latest book, Tasting Qualities: The Past and Future of Tea (University of California Press). “Ask consumers in different tea-loving places, from London to Lucknow to Louisville,

A dew-covered white and pink rose.

Rose expert Peter Kukielski, the author of Roses Without Chemicals: 150 Disease-Free Varieties That Will Change the Way You Grow Roses and former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, tells us about the rose-bloom

Rain soaked soil seen through a tangle of grass and plants.

April showers bring May flowers, as the age-old saying goes—and with both comes the scent of freshly dampened soil that New Atlas, geosmin is produced by certain bacteria from the genus Streptomyces as a way to attract a specific arthropod, called a springtail, which helps spread its spores. Researchers suggest that ta hand soap and a hand-sanitizer spray (the candle option, sadly, is sold out, at least for the moment), offers a close-to-the-real-thing alternative in a bot

Breau on fire on a white stone.

Breu resin, a shiny, white sap extracted from the almécega tree found in the Amazon rain forests, as well as from various reBreuzinho is used to enhance focus and attain peace of mind, and is scientifically shown to have various medicinal properties as breu incense from the Brooklyn-based company Incausa, in stick form, coated in resin and sprinkled with chips of palo santo; as well as in its more natural, raw form, as a hunk of solid oleoresin from Costa Brazil, fashion designer Francisco Costa’s beauty brand, which pairs it with a ceramic tray. To enjoy the ar

A photo of a newborn on its mother's chest.

Smell is among the earliest senses that babies develop—long before they learn to walk, talk, or even focus their eyes toSmithsonian Magazine, this is a “carefully concocted perfume of biological manipulation, evolved to trigger maternal bonding.” Hospitals eve

For chemical specialist George Aldrich, his keen sense of scent doesn’t just make him an expert—it acts as NASA’s first self-described “Nasalnaut,” whose nose is government-certified three times a year, Aldrich conducts toxicity tests on all objects before they’re se

An assortment of colorful Claus Porto soaps on their white box.

As most of us remain stuck indoors, the spring days passing us by, inching toward summer and conjuring attendant escapisClaus Porto’s handsomely wrapped and scented soaps and let your mind wander to Portugal. Or head over to Positano by way of a bottlEau d’Italie shower gel. Famously stocked at the spectacular, immaculate Le Sirenuse hotel, it captures the salty-citrus musk of Italy’s Amalfithis beautiful green Scändic farmer soap made with stone-ground grits and geranium, patchouli, and lemongrass essential oils, meanwhile, has us imagining an endKorean Kiln Sauna Soap. Made with pine, activated charcoal, and red clay, it transports us directly to a long, relaxing day on South Korea’s J

A tin of 4ever mints in peppermint flavor.

We’re entering week five of self-quarantine in many cities around the U.S., and cabin fever is setting in for many of us4evermints, developed by a team of doctors and scientists who tout it as the strongest and longest-lasting breath mints on the marWilhelmina Peppermints, named after the Dutch princess whose profile is stamped on each round tablet, like a little gulden coin. For a much-needed chill pill during stressful times, there are also a host of CBD-infused mints to refresh both your mouth and mind. You also can’t go wrong with a mint-flavored toothpaste. Try our favorite, Marvis’s Classic Strong Mint (and, for good measure, add on its Strong Mint mouthwash concentrate).

A bottle of Floris Bespoke on a white background.

Everyone has a natural essence—we have our pheromones to thank for that—and scientists even consider our personal odors as unique as our fingerprints. Rather than mask yours with an off-the-shelf scent, certain speciality perfumeries offer the option of buying completeLondon-based Floris, you can book in-person scent consultations with their team of experts for the ultimate bespoke experience. Afterwards,

The book cover for Sugar Free 3.

Refined sugar is often called out as a “silent killer,” increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, not to mention aCosmopolitan magazine editor-in-chief Michele Promaulayko tells us. “Food scientists often engineer products to have just the right amount of sweetness to make you crave more anSugar Free 3, which comes with an Openfit app, Promaulayko outlines a three-week plan to “reset your body and cravings,” offering recipes, videos, and tips to elimin

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

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 Torini 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

The book cover of The Essence, depicting a woman donning perfume.

Scent has become a gargantuan global business, valued to the tune of $31.4 billion as of 2018, and predicted to grow furThe Essence—Discovering the World of Scent, Perfume & Fragrance (Gestalten) offers a fascinating look at the industry, covering the history, origins, and methods used to produce fragr

A single red rose on a white background.

Gardener, rose expert and the author of several books on roses, Stephen Scanniello has had a hand in creating some of thPeggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and the Elizabeth Park Conservancy in West Hartford, Connecticut. Here, he shares a bit of the long and colorful history of roses.

Incense burning on a pack of sticks on a red background.

The earliest recorded uses of incense in Japan date back to 595 A.D., around the same time Buddhism arrived to the countthe multi-colored Horin assortment packs that are nearly as compact as a matchbox, and as visually pleasing as a fresh set of pastels. It’s the small details thmon-koh, a multisensory and ceremonial appreciation that translates to “listening to incense.”

The interior of a fragrance boutique, with many bottles lined up on shelves.

Finding a signature scent can be a challenge—especially when shopping online. After all, perfumes not only go directly oNose, a Parisian fragrance boutique, offers customers an online “olfactory diagnosis” to help them navigate its large librar

White and red flowers with green leaves on a solid black background.

Roses are red, violets are blue, this trite nursery rhyme is familiar to you (see what I did there?). But anecdotally, iThe Scentual Garden: Exploring the World of Botanical Fragrance (Harry N. Abrams), author Ken Druse makes the case for having it the other way around, with fascinating texts that explo

Snow caught in bare branches in sunlight.

We associate summer with the smell of salt and sand, and autumn with cinnamon and campfires—but what about winter? The pfeel more than we smell. Molecules in the air slow down in colder temperatures, while, as researchers have found, our olfactory receptors also retract a bit more into our noses, possibly as a natura

A forest of pine trees in the snow on a mountain.

There’s no need to cry over spilled milk—especially when it brings with it a whiff of opportunity. German-Canadian perfuthe ubiquitous Little Trees pine-scented car freshener in 1952, after meeting a milk truck driver from upstate New York who complained of the smell of spills throughout the d

A brown and gold bottle of perfume next to a box reading "Old Faithful."

Common household soaps and detergents claiming to have the scent of “mountain air” or “fresh pine” might seem a far-fluna collection of oils and tonics that are directly and scientifically sampled at the source. Launched this year, with more to come in 2020, the special

A sculptural bottle of perfume is balancing between two pieces of carved stone.

After more than 15 years working on the branding and consulting side of the fashion and beauty world, collaborating withMaison d’Etto, and with a splash: Her debut collection, available online and through The Future Perfect, includes five gender-neutral scents—tested on hundreds of users representing a spectrum of races, skin types, and gendfeel. This was about tapping into that and keeping myself as pure and as reactionary as I could be, without getting too into

Hundreds of flowers spill out of a phone booth on on New York City street corner.

The renowned floral designer Lewis Miller, creator of the Insta-popular #FlowerFlash (in which he installs exquisite, over-the-top bouquets in public spaces throughout New York City) and author of the book Styling Nature, tells us why the spontaneous act of spreading beauty gives him the “ultimate dopamine rush.”

Neanderthal perfume in a white case.

Lonneke Gordijn, co-founder of the Amsterdam-based Studio Drift, tells us about her favorite scent, Neandertal. A “beastly” olfactory creation by artist Kentaro Yamada, it surprised our editor’s nose when Gordijn was wearing it at a recent opening at New York’s Pace Gallery.

Michael Pinsky's Pollution Pod domes, with people inside and out.

A new traveling exhibition gives visitors a whiff of global travel—just not the scents you’re wont to remember. “Pollution Pods,” a collaboration between artist Michael Pinsky, the innovation lab IFF, and a coterie of perfumers, simulates the condit