Odor of Magnitude
A new exhibit devoted to smell
From Grimaldi's pizza to the F train's unique fumes, the odors of New York are certainly far-reaching. But if you've ever wanted to learn more about why and how you experience smell the way you do, we suggest a visit to the Sephora Sensorium, a recently opened pop-up exhibit that takes a closer look (and sniff) into all things scent.
Part laboratory, part art gallery, the Sensorium--which occupies a 4,000-square-foot Meatpacking event space--features a variety of interactive olfactory displays and experiences. Visitors begin by walking through a fragrance history timeline (who knew Chanel No. 5 was created by accident?) before discovering their emotional preferences and the connection between scent and memory.
Though highlights include a darkroom infused with whiffs of things like "springtime" and "biscuits and gravy," our favorite stop was the sensory-deprivation booth, where we learned what it's like to actually lose your sense of smell.
The exhibit ends with a fragrance bar, where visitors smell-test unlabeled fragrances to determine personal preferences based on emotional response. We like musks and dewy greens, in case you were wondering.
Tickets are $15, but they can later be redeemed for Sephora credit, should you want to put your newfound scent knowledge to work.
Sephora Sensorium, 414 W. 14th St. (between Ninth Ave. and Washington St.); 887-737-4672 or sephora.com/go/sensorium; open through November 27