IFF Smell Lab : World Science Festival Events

The annual World Science Festival returns to New York with several great events, including an activity focused on fragrance. The International Flavors and Fragrances Smell Lab will be held on Sunday, June 3, 2012, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (free admission) at Washington Square Park.

“The International Flavors and Fragrances Smell Lab is an engaging, interactive, hands-on educational experience designed to illuminate the science of olfaction, the complexity of scents, and the chemistry and art of perfumery. Suitable for all ages.

Design Your Own Fragrance– Learn how to create your own custom fragrances using IFF molecules—discovering the science and art of fragrance building in the process. At the end, you’ll get to name and take home your very own, one-of-a-kind fragrance.

Center stage – All-day long, the Smell Lab will feature interactive demonstrations from IFF chemists, perfumers, and neuroscientist Stuart Firestein, who will describe how our emotions are connected to the sense of smell.

Meet the IFF Scientists – IFF chemists and fragrance scientists will be on hand all day to talk about the wondrous science of smell.”

Via worldsciencefestival.com. For other World Science Festival events, please see the events schedule.



  • yomi: Sounds so very interesting. Pity I’m thousands of miles away! May 28, 2012 at 9:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Same here! I will not be around then, so I will miss it. May 28, 2012 at 4:23pm Reply

  • silverdust: Aaarrrgh! This sounds fascinating. Alas, Virginia is a little too far for a field trip or else I’d be there. May 28, 2012 at 10:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, that’s a bit far. The World Science Festival usually has very interesting events, but I was pleasantly surprised to spot something related to scent and olfaction. May 28, 2012 at 4:24pm Reply

  • Kerrie: This sounds very interesting and I wish I could go but I live too far away. As always, I enjoy your beautiful writing and appreciate your knowledge about fragrance, Victoria, so I am wondering if you would be able to answer a question I have for you about the “science of smell”.

    I was shopping for a new fragrance on the weekend and had an interesting conversation with a salesperson who mentioned that as we get older, we lose our sense of smell and that various age groups are drawn towards certain scents because of many factors, such as younger girls like sweeter scents because it reminds them of mother’s milk (even though they don’t realize this). I thought that was very interesting and have noticed that I cannot pick up various notes as well as I used to but I thought that was because they don’t make fragrance with the same quality ingredients anymore. Is there anything a person can do to keep their sense of smell alive as we get older? Just curious… May 28, 2012 at 12:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s an interesting question, Kerrie! I don’t know if the mother’s milk association makes sense to me, especially in the context of the modern sweet fragrances which smell like candy, something teens would remember to much better.
      Our sense of smell does lose its acuteness over time, that’s true, but you certainly can do a lot to keep your scent memory strong (and smelling is a good exercise for the brain in general). The simplest thing to do is just to smell a lot–not just perfumes, but everything. Open a spice jar and try to identify it by smell alone. Sniff your coffee, think of aromas when you eat. Surprisingly, such simple things sharpen your scent perception to an incredible degree. As with anything else, your nose gets better when it has some practice. May 28, 2012 at 4:53pm Reply

      • Kerrie: Thank you Victoria – I am going to really practice this! You set such great example in the way you perceive the world through your sense of smell – for instance, your recent article about the scent of one’s city was very interesting and inspiring – I’m glad we can learn from you. 🙂 May 28, 2012 at 6:11pm Reply

        • Victoria: We learn from each other, Kerrie! That’s why I love writing and chatting here as much as I do. Every day I learn something new, so thank you as well. May 28, 2012 at 6:15pm Reply

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