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Smell & Tell: The Aromatic Allure of Patchouli


Wednesday August 14, 2019: 6:30pm to 8:45pm  Add to Calendar /   Add to Google Calendar


Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room


clinque perfume

No other ingredient used in perfumery is as equally loved and despised as patchouli. Though science can provide answers as to why this polarity in perception exists, history yields intriguing details that go beyond patchouli's association as the defining aroma of 1960's counterculture.

Bring your nose and an open mind as we'll be smelling an assortment of patchouli varietals and vintages, as well as a curated selection of patchouli-inspired perfumes. Patchouli is not all hippie stank. Jackie O's signature fragrance was patchouli. Aristotle Onassis gave her a bottle of Lovely Patchouli 55 by Krigler on the same day he put a 40-karat diamond engagement ring on her finger, and it became her signature fragrance. 

Note: The scent flight for this Smell & Tell includes Clearwood┬«, a patchoulol molecule developed using biofermentation. Patchoulol is one of 78 molecules that make up the aroma of patchouli. An additional 58 tentative molecules are currently under research. Patchouli found in nature cannot be synthesized. You can find the living plant in the conservatory at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Smell and Tell series of art+science programming is led by Michelle Krell Kydd, a trained nose in flavors and fragrance who shares her passion for gastronomy and the perfume arts on Glass Petal Smoke. Smell & Tell builds community through interactions with flavor, fragrance and storytelling.