Weird Science

by staff, 09/26/2012

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  • The Art of Scent, 1889–2012, at the Museum of Arts and Design 
    2 Columbus Circle, 212-299-7777, Midtown West, Manhattan
    The Museum of Arts and Design's press release for this upcoming exhibition (opening on November 20) says, "'Untitled (2010)' is an ingenious neo-brutalist work that references nature both violently and abstractly." Such language isn't unusual when it comes to art, but is novel when the subject is a scent. That's the motivation behind this exhibit: MAD feels that scent hasn't been explored to the same extent as other arts. Former New York Times perfume critic Chandler Burr—whose olfactory qualifications are beyond reproach—has put together a series of fragrances spanning more than a century (including, for example, Chanel No. 5), as well as supporting materials explaining the creativity and chemistry that went into creating them. Guests at the exhibition can smell the scents at the installation in an environment relatively free from visual stimulation. The idea for this exhibition may be a bit funky, but it's bound to encourage attendees to think more about the artistry that goes into the scents that make their way to store shelves.

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