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Designing for the Five Senses: Scent and Architecture

By Dwell @dwell
Commune Scenter Series by L’Oeil Du Vert

Commune Scenter Series by L’Oeil Du Vert

Inspired by the Schindler House in West Hollywood, this Douglas fir vaporizer comes with a vial of fragrance that’s custom-blended from California flora, burnt Japanese wood, and Viennese leather. 

Scent is usually considered outside of architecture—if not something to be sanitized. Jorge Otero-Pailos placed it center stage when, as part of a 2013 exhibition, he and a perfumer reconstructed historic scents of Philip Johnson’s Glass House: the whiff of its freshly built interiors, the later fragrance of cologne, and the accrued odor of cigarette smoke. As Otero-Pailos puts it: “When you smell something, you remember without trying. That’s incredibly powerful.” He adds that “smell is temporal...We can install odors to punctuate our experience of architecture, and in that sense, help to organize it in time and in space.”

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