NOS­TAL­GIC HOME­COM­ING

Scents af­fect our lives much more than we think. Jolin Lee headed down to Sin­ga­pore to ex­pe­ri­ence Aē­sop’s unique scent ex­pe­ri­ence.

Herworld (Malaysia) - - HER LIVING -

An evoca­tive scent has the abil­ity to link mem­o­ries, spe­cific mo­ments and emo­tions. It opens up the pas­sage­way of mem­o­ries and presents an op­por­tu­nity to re­live mo­ments again.

In Au­gust, a two-week scent ex­pe­ri­ence was cre­ated by Aē­sop in con­junc­tion with Sin­ga­pore Night Fes­ti­val’s 10th An­niver­sary. The ti­tle, ‘Nos­tos: Records of the Self ’, takes in­spi­ra­tion from the Greek word nos­tos, which means ‘home­com­ing’ or ‘re­turn’, and the Greek word al­gos, mean­ing ‘ache’. These words to­gether form ‘nostal­gia’ – a per­fect rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the in­trin­sic link be­tween scent and mem­ory.

The ex­hi­bi­tion of scent and mo­ment was ini­ti­ated by light, used to heat the es­sen­tial oils – berg­amot, san­dal­wood and olibanum – be­ing stored in 10 hand­crafted steel wells. The scent trav­elled through the space, cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment that in­vited respite and re­flec­tion.

“An an­niver­sary is a mo­ment to re­flect, and this ex­pe­ri­ence pauses on the con­nec­tion be­tween scent and mem­ory,” said Mar­sha Meredith, Aē­sop’s cre­ative di­rec­tor.

1 How did the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Aē­sop and Sin­ga­pore Night Fes­ti­val come about?

“Aē­sop has al­ways sup­ported world­wide arts, cul­ture and her­itage. When the op­por­tu­nity came to col­lab­o­rate with the Sin­ga­pore Night Fes­ti­val, we wel­comed it with open arms. An­other rea­son for this col­lab­o­ra­tion is the con­ducive lo­ca­tion. Gallery 10 is where the tra­di­tion­ally bi­nary ideas of art and sci­ence are both cel­e­brated and de­con­structed. The in­spi­ra­tion be­hind Gallery 10 fits our cre­ative in­tent for this scent ex­pe­ri­ence. At­mo­spheric sounds, rep­re­sent­ing mem­ory, heighten the sen­so­rial ex­pe­ri­ence of an in­ti­mate jour­ney com­pris­ing hand­crafted steel wells, light and scent – an in­ci­den­tal out­come of our method­ol­ogy of us­ing both plant-based and lab­o­ra­tory-made in­gre­di­ents in our for­mu­la­tions.”

2 In what way does the pres­ence of scent in­flu­ence ev­ery­day life?

“Un­be­knownst to many, scent plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in ev­ery­day life. It has the power to evoke mul­ti­ple emo­tions and leave an ever­last­ing im­print in the mind. That is why we strive to achieve the per­fect bal­ance of in­gre­di­ents in our prod­ucts, to leave an in­deli­ble mark on the user’s con­scious­ness.”

3 What in­spired this sen­sory in­stal­la­tion?

“We wanted to make Sin­ga­pore Night Fes­ti­val an evoca­tive sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence. By cre­at­ing a scent ex­pe­ri­ence, we har­nessed the scent gen­er­ated by light to cre­ate an in­ti­mate jour­ney of respite and re­flec­tion. The ex­pe­ri­ence at the fes­ti­val is very unique, with the sen­sory in­stal­la­tion de­signed in a man­ner that will al­low the fra­grance to linger in the minds of visitors.”

4 A unique scent was used through­out the fes­ti­val. What went into the mak­ing of it and how were the key notes se­lected?

“When we cre­ate a spe­cific prod­uct, we al­ways take into ac­count the ben­e­fits of the in­gre­di­ents on the user’s skin and hair, as well as the aro­mas that they pro­duce. The key notes se­lected for this scent are berg­amot, san­dal­wood and olibanum. These es­sen­tial oils are fre­quently used in our prod­ucts, thus in­fus­ing the fes­ti­val with the sig­na­ture Aē­sop scent.”

Mar­sha Meredith, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Aē­sop

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