You, bottled: Fragrance Lab distills you into a scent

What's the perfect perfume for you? Journey through a sensory experiment and you might discover that the scents of iron filings and galactic ascension suit you best.

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Selfridges' latest experiential retail experiment calls on shoppers' sense of smell. The Future Laboratory

What scent reflects you best? Lavender and jasmine? Pine needles and nubuck leather? A new MacBook Pro?

If you're unsure, step into the Fragrance Lab. London-based department store Selfridges created this 15-minute "immersive journey into the outer reaches of scent" that takes visitors through a multisensory scent-profiling experience and leads to a 50ml bottle of their signature smell.

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The perfume doctors will see you now. (Click to enlarge.) Hufton + Crow

On the ground floor of Selfridges, participants enter a futuristic laboratory-like space peopled by scientific-looking assistants in white lab coats. Guests are given an iPad and asked to take a personality test that consists of multiple-choice questions and pictures.

After filling that out, visitors don a pair of white headphones and make their way through an audio-guided tour of spaces filled with various objects and scents. They might, for example, open a mystery drawer, selecting an object that speaks to them in some way and identifying the smells that rouse them most.

These choices help determine their personal fragrance, concocted by perfumer Givaudan and presented to them at the end of the tour in a private, silver-colored room. Along with the bottle, they get an "about you" description that fortunately appears to be far more flattering than, "You need to shower more often."

"You're an inquisitive person who enjoys challenging themselves with unfamiliar ideas and unusual experiences," reads the fragrance card for one Fragrance Lab guest, who reported on Twitter that she was "pretty freaked out by how exact the fragrance is for me."

Her particular personal perfume, according to the Fragance Lab, contains the scents of "galactic ascension," "minerals lost in space," and "a psychedelic cloud." Another perfume out of the lab emits "technicolour asphalt," and "seductive metallics," along with the far tamer violet leaves.

The Fragrance Lab, no doubt a creative attempt to increase traffic to Selfridges, is also part of The Beauty Project, the store's six-week campaign exploring the definition of beauty through lectures, debates, and interactive experiences. London design company Campaign created the Fragrance Lab with trend forecasting consultancy The Future Laboratory.

The Fragrance Lab will remain open through June 27, and costs £65 (about $110) per visit. Since the US Crave team is unlikely to make it to London in the next couple of months, we're hoping our UK colleagues can swing by Selfridges for a whiff. We're betting they'll come away with a Peter Capaldi scent, possibly with a note of R2-D2.

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Each Fragrance Lab guest gets a card explaining his or her unique scent.Laura Apsit Livens/Twitter

(Via PSFK)

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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