July 12, 2013
What If You Could Snapchat a Scent?

Fresh-brewed coffee. Towels, just out of the dryer. The sour-sweet of a summer sidewalk. Sweat. Ocean. Brownies baking. Lilies blooming. Musk. Most of us tend to classify scent according to the way we experience it: as a sensation that is fleeting and ephemeral and ethereal, powerful in large part because of intangibility. In that, however, most of us are wrong. Scent is stuff like any other stuff — little bits of the world that shed and sweep and waft, making their way, finally, to our noses. Only at the point when the miasmic world meets the human brain does scent take on its mysterious power to alert us to danger, to seduce us into action, to goad us into memory.
But what if fragrance could be made … non-fleeting? What if it could be made permanent — a document of experience, lived and seen and smelled? Over in the U.K., the designer Amy Radcliffe has created a project that explores that idea. It’s a device that uses some of the best scent-preservation technology we have, headspace capture, to take, effectively, “snapshots” of scents. It works like a 35-mm camera, and its aim is to convert sensory experience into a vehicle for nostalgia. Imagine being able, Radcliffe suggests, to take a “scent” picture of that blissful day at the beach. Or of your newborn son. Or of your ailing mother.
Read more. [Image: Shutterstock/Sofia Andreevna]

What If You Could Snapchat a Scent?

Fresh-brewed coffee. Towels, just out of the dryer. The sour-sweet of a summer sidewalk. Sweat. Ocean. Brownies baking. Lilies blooming. Musk. Most of us tend to classify scent according to the way we experience it: as a sensation that is fleeting and ephemeral and ethereal, powerful in large part because of intangibility. In that, however, most of us are wrong. Scent is stuff like any other stuff — little bits of the world that shed and sweep and waft, making their way, finally, to our noses. Only at the point when the miasmic world meets the human brain does scent take on its mysterious power to alert us to danger, to seduce us into action, to goad us into memory.

But what if fragrance could be made … non-fleeting? What if it could be made permanent — a document of experience, lived and seen and smelled? Over in the U.K., the designer Amy Radcliffe has created a project that explores that idea. It’s a device that uses some of the best scent-preservation technology we have, headspace capture, to take, effectively, “snapshots” of scents. It works like a 35-mm camera, and its aim is to convert sensory experience into a vehicle for nostalgia. Imagine being able, Radcliffe suggests, to take a “scent” picture of that blissful day at the beach. Or of your newborn son. Or of your ailing mother.

Read more. [Image: Shutterstock/Sofia Andreevna]

3:25pm
  
Filed under: Technology The Madeleine 
  1. sempergratia reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. justliverandom reblogged this from forloops
  3. forloops reblogged this from bookwormbreakfast
  4. bookwormbreakfast reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Scent preservation! WE ARE IN THE FUTURE NOW, YOU GUYS.
  5. oceanssneverlisten reblogged this from theatlantic
  6. awesomefuckingdistance reblogged this from antarcticanking
  7. effli reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. pucklish reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. archetypewriter reblogged this from theatlantic
  10. ssavanimal reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. tanyalokot reblogged this from thoriumdirigible
  12. lolableu reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. ritadela reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    20 bucks people are gonna be snapchatting their farts.
  14. fuckyeahmoms reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. allowtheoceantowakeinyou reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. please-be-quiet-please reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. thoriumdirigible reblogged this from theatlantic