If shopping for a scent from the cluttered shelves of a department store isn’t exactly your thing, head to the new Maison Margiela fragrance gallery in Beverly Hills for a different kind of sensorial experience.
Margiela’s forthcoming fragrances were the inspiration for a cutting-edge exhibition titled Smells Like Memories. The store, which doubles as an art gallery, will include photography inspired by the REPLICA volume of fragrances.
The scent-inspired installation is interesting because memory is more closely linked to scent than any other sense. A number of behavioral studies have demonstrated that smells trigger more intense emotional memories, and are better at inducing the feeling of reminiscing, than images. Alexandre Choueiri, the U.S. President of Maison Margiela Fragrances, agrees and adds, “Scent is a sense that is developed early in childhood by collecting memories. Having fragrances that tell, first and foremost, a real scented story or memory is very different from what’s available on the typical fragrance market, which has traditionally focused on bottling specific ingredients and emotions.”
The best thing about this project is that it allows us to travel down memory lane—a place that will always be accessible and familiar to all of us. To supplement the experience of uncovering a new scent, Alexandre invited a slew of L.A.-based artists to photograph moments close to their hearts, where details call upon an olfactive and sensorial intimacy that the viewer can discover through their own set of memories.
Alexandre shares, “In the midst of images, metaphors, olfactive memories and collective reflections, these works will illustrate perceptions that are as subjective as they are recognizable.”
The house also commissioned major celebs, like Brad Goreski and Zendaya, to create on-site installations and stimulate the dynamic dialogue between perfumes and minds. Aware of the intelligence of their clientele, Alexandre noted that their customers are “Interested in talking about possibilities that range outside the usual ideas of what art can, or should, be.”
As visitors view the photography, they will be reminded of their own memories or inspired to create new ones. Each image reflects a time or place that’s represented by one of the REPLICA fragrances, creating a multi-sensorial experience. Stop by to sample the REPLICA’s newest perfumes for fall, titled By the Fireplace and Lipstick On. Blotters will be passed around to allow guests to share their treasured, scent-inspired remembrances.
The exhibition opens on October 15 and continues through October 17.