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Fragrancing FEAR

Posted: May 16, 2007

page 5 of 7

“Something has to change. Nothing’s bad and nothing’s good. We underestimate the consumers naturally because we don’t have training for noses in out society. I’m so sick of all this stuff about bad and good. I don’t even use the words anymore myself.”

FEAR of Smell—the Smell of FEAR

Attached to Tolaas’ Berlin studio is the IFF re_searchLab, a space where the artist can focus on personal and commercial smell communication projects and host visitors. Touring globally, Tolaas’ latest fragrance project—FEAR—has been garnering serious press attention. The project is the result of Tolaas’ collaboration with 16 men over five years. Each man suffers acute phobias, strong fears in particular situations.

“What interests me is just their sweat,” she says. “I developed a small tool they put under their arms the moment they get these [anxiety] attacks. It sucks up the sweat…and I copy it as much as I can, as close to original as possible.”

How do her perfumer collaborators react to such strange projects?