Catherine Haley Epstein
Artist | Writer | Scent Maker

Art for Your Nose | Air Fresheners

Art For Your Nose

Art For Your Nose | Make Your Own Air Freshener

At the Portland Art Museum (PAM) in August, I set up a Curious Lab with scents I developed in tandem with the exhibition "The Shape of Speed".  The public was invited to design their own scented car freshener (in a limited edition red alder tree shape I designed). They were given the tree to decorate in any way they chose, then scented it. Many of the scents I created for the event were inspired by works from the permanent collections at the PAM, and the "Shape of Speed" exhibit, some were curious notes designed to educate and introduce different genres of scent. There were 15 unique and inspired scents to chose from including:

  • "The Donkey" scent inspired by a Rosa Bonheur painting on view in the PAM collection
  • "Speed", the fasted scent composition I have made to date
  • "Il Femminiello" a unisex scent inspired after the painting from the 18th century in the PAM collection, and the age old tradition of men dressing as women
  • "Timber Rose", for the love of sport, rose and trees

Participants ranged in ages from 2 - 89. This informal opportunity to engage with the public about new ways of considering scent felt urgent while we reconsider all the senses, and the general concept of what art is.