September 10, 2008

Stinky Book

In Fast Food Nation, author Eric Schlosser described how chemicals are used to artificially create the ordinary smells (and tastes) of... everything.

Robert Blackson has taken this idea a step further: Why not engineer the smells of things that couldn't ever ordinarily be smelled? His new book is If There Ever Was: A Book of Extinct and Impossible Smells. It has scratch 'n' sniff pages that re-create the odors of Russian gym socks on the Mir space station, extinct plants, the afterglow of a nuclear explosion, and the surface of the sun.

So did this nasal-blazer of conceptual scent art just invent the scents? Nope. Blackson worked with pros: A NASA scientist, chemists, perfumers, botanists, etc. Regardless, Blackson has joined the group of authors whose books unquestionably stink. (I'm a charter member!)

The book is also a companion volume for the current exhibit at the Reg Vardy Gallery. Tell them you read about it here, and get free admission!

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