Thursday, October 6, 2011 I had the opportunity to visit the “Sensorium: An Immersive Journey Through Lucid Dreams From the Sensory World” presented by Sephora & Firmenich before it’s opening to the public on October 7, 2011. Sharon Rothstein, senior vice president of marketing for Sephora said that the goal is to get consumers to think of fragrances in a whole new way.
The fragrance museum is located at 414 West 14th street, in the trendy Meatpacking district of Manhattan, and is the first of it’s kind especially designed for consumers.
In attendance was ’30 Rock’ actress, Jane Krakowski. During the opening event, she explained her new favorite scent is baby, as is mine.
““My new favorite smell is new baby smell. It makes me so happy. If someone could bottle that, I’d love to have it.” -Jane
The exhibit starts by taking you through an extensive history of perfumology. The hall is lined with ingredients, tools used to make perfume bottles and their contents, and even chandeliers made of perfume bottles. Then, you arrive at a total of eight sensory deprivation chambers.
Upon entering a sensory deprivation chamber, you hear a first-hand account of a woman who lost her sense of smell, and craved a cherry lollipop. There were “cherry” lollipop’s in each booth for individuals who took the dive & experienced the deprivation chamber to try at the end of the recording. Let’s say, you will be just as sad as the woman in the audio.
Next, the exhibit leads you through a maze of “emotional scent interactions,” with six pieces of art engineered to emit scents — among them, the beach (favorite), bacon and eggs and fresh-cut grass — that share space with looped videos evocative of the smells.
The next room has the “lab of emotions”: four stations, representing Addiction, Comfort, Fun and Confidence. There were a few warm, masculine scents that I believe were infused with rum and vanilla, in this room that I loved, as well as a pink candy scent that would be perfect for spring.
In the “Lucid Dreaming” room, you’re allowed to stand in front of one of four stations, each with a unit to smell and a video screen depicting a particular emotion: wonder, hope, creation (favorite) and floating. While sniffing through a nosepiece, video screen graphics change according to your breathing patterns.
My favorite part of the Sensorium was the fragrance bar where I was able to take “flights” of a scent (just like having a glass of wine). The four fragrance families — Playful, Polished, Casual and Addictive — each have scents sprayed on the inside of a clear wineglass marked only with a number from 1 to 6, representing tonalities of scent, including fresh, refined, petally and warm.
The scents being tested at the fragrance bar are available for sale at the Sensorium, and consumers are invited to visit Sephora’s new Meatpacking District store, which opened in mid-September and is about a block away from the Sensorium. Even outside windows get in on the act: Scratch-and-sniff graphics cover the outside windows, and signs encourage passersby to stop and take a whiff.
The Sensorium is the perfect spot for perfume aficionados, and for individuals who, get overwhelmed by the many brands and scents out there, and would just like to experience fragrance without the influence of a label; letting their olfactory nerve take the lead.
The exhibit will be open from now until November 27, 2011. Tickets are $15 (make reservation HERE), which is redeemable in at any Sephora store (or online) via a Sephora gift card. In my honest opinion, this is a great date idea. I’m going to go back with my husband.