Sunday marked the end of the first Rook Scent Experiment. We turned the perfume buying experience on its head and sent out 25 samples of a scent I created. I shared nothing about the notes in the scent nor any facts about the inspiration for the scent.

As each sample arrived people created images, videos and stories which they shared on instagram. They told me about any places or memories the scent evoked and made a list of notes they perceived. 

The secret scent is called "The Greengrocer." Most of my family live in the middle east. The scent of a greengrocers in the heat of the sun is very specific. Furry peaches and fresh melon are guarded from the rays by the shade of an awning. Their crates made of dark wood branded by the suppliers name. Freshly cut flowers surround the counter and beyond there are large metal bowls containing herbs and spices. The owner of the shop looks out on to the street and the smell of benzene fills the air as heavy traffic fills the roads, engines struggling to keep cool in the humidity.

One person came very close to the inspiration, including images of a greengrocer in the incredible video response they made. Everyone picked up at least a few of the notes but they applied them to their own stories and memories. 

Many customers feel a sense of disappointment when they receive a scent with a specific story behind it but somehow can't find that story in the scent. Similarly notes are very subjective - for me the strongest notes in The Greengrocer were white lily and peach but almost no-one else picked them out until told. The idea of adding notes to the perfume triangle if enough customer mention them is not a new idea but is certainly a notion I may consider taking on. 

This experiment was never intended to be a marketing ploy as there was no intention to sell the fragrance. However, so many people in the experiment wanted to buy it, I have handmade a small batch of 20 which are now available here

I intend to make the #rookscentexperiment a regular event to look at different ways scent can be experienced and perceived.

Click here and check out the scent experiment highlight to see all the responses. 

Written by Nadeem Crowe

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