Perfumer Nelly Hachem-Ruiz Recreates the Clean Air Smell of Norway in Pollution Pods by Michael Pinsky

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When It Comes to Sustainability, We Won’t Accept the Status Quo

“Climate change is one of the most pervasive and threatening issues of our time, with far-reaching impacts in the twenty-first century,” observes the United Nations Environment Programme. In 2017, artist Michael Pinsky was commissioned by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), as part of Climart, to create Pollution Pods, with the support of BuildwithHubs, which explores how visual art affects viewer perceptions of climate change.

The Pollution Pods exhibit is at the forefront of large scale, immersive, interactive experiences, meant to be explored, provocative and Instagrammed as noted in the JWT’s Future 100: 2019 report which gathers disruptive currents into cultural forecasts.

Pioneers of the Senses 

We collaborated on the artwork, which is composed of five connected domes. Each pod represents a city and each takes visitors into a simulation of the pollution of five major cities, via scent, temperature and humidity, complete with an olfactory experience crafted by an IFF perfumer.

Aligned with IFF’s commitment to sustainability, it was not only an opportunity to build a bridge between art and science to help safeguard life on our planet but also an exciting way to push the boundaries of what is possible as pioneers of the senses. Each perfumer has a personal connection to the locations represented by the pods and they combined their local expertise with our proprietary palette of ingredients & technologies to create a realistic and vivid simulation of the air quality.

Discover Clean Air by Nelly Hachem-Ruiz

As a point of contrast between the cities, one dome offers clean air, based on the scentscape of Norway’s pine forests. Nelly Hachem-Ruiz, a Perfumer based in France, used a material called Koavone, which in a high dose offers an exhilarating and diffusive pine scent. A cooling effect came through the addition of Cristalfizz and Menthol. The essence of pine needle gives the naturality and the strength to the scent that reminds us the immensity (infinity) of the forest.

Here’s what Nelly shared:

I imagined the experience of taking a walk in the amazing, cold nature of the Norway landscape, surrounded by a forest of pine trees. 

I made a cold pure piney fresh smell with few simple ingredients that could transport me back to this experience I had imagined. 

Exhibits such as Pollution Pods help bring climate change to the forefront and enables us to be more conscious about our environment. I worked with a palette of natural ingredients to create this scent but its authenticity would not have been possible without the addition of our pioneering fragrance ingredients. 

Being able to think about and smell the scent I created, while immersed inside this dome, was one of my favorite experiences and I love that I get to share that moment with the world. 


The #PollutionPods Experience 

The art exhibit is currently on tour. Keep up with the latest news, events, dates and video here:

Follow the conversation on social media: #PollutionPods

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