I truly love participating in fragrance collaborations that have an artistic element, so when The Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO) invited me to be the perfumer on the The Huntington Library scent exhibition, I immediately said yes! My focus for this project was to re-imagine scents that would evoke the olfactive history of the Huntington Library gardens.
The most interesting and challenging scent to develop was ‘The Barn’, with notes of alfalfa, milk, and farm animals. I chose to develop a scent around the natural cresolic notes I detect from horses—I grew up with horses and remember this scent well from the many hours I spent brushing their coats, cleaning their shoes, and shoveling their stalls! Today this scent is trending, and I’ve worked with several clients using ‘horse’ inspired animalic notes. Horses are naturally vegetarian, so their unique scent reflects this.
Here is an excerpt about the project from IAO:
Over the course of two months, and in collaboration with the IAO and The Huntington, Sherri composed six scents related to touch-points in the history of the property. The scents are:
1892: The natural landscape (the scent of warm oaks and sage in the California sun)
1907: Orchards (evoking orange trees and orange-blossoms)
1908: Rose Garden (evoking a rose garden – thorns included)
1914: The Barn (evoking alfalfa, milk and warm animals)
1920: Library (evoking old dusty books in a clean, cool library)
1940: Eucalyptus grove (evoking eucalyptus and fresh greenery)
The scents are part of a permanent exhibit in the visitor’s center.