Contrary to some reports, the scent hasn’t been given a formal name. It will be displayed (or rather unleashed) as part of an exhibition titled De facto Standard at West Space, an art gallery in Melbourne, Australia. The exhibition is the work of Gavin Bell, Jarrah de Kuijer and Simon McGlinn under the collaborative name of Greatest Hits. There’s not much detail about the other exhibits, although the blurb for the exhibition cites the Wikipedia entry for the HD DVD vs Blu-ray battle.
As is common with modern conceptual art, the artists simply came up with the idea and got somebody else to do the work, in this case global firm Air Aroma, which specializes in creating custom scents. It set out to create a scent that “encompasses the smell of the plastic wrap covering the box, printed ink on the cardboard, the smell of paper and plastic components within the box and of course the aluminum laptop which has come straight from the factory where it was assembled in China.”
The production process was a little less technical than you might imagine. It effectively involved taking scents known to smell of glue, paper, plastic and rubber and then mixing them together while sniffing a brand new Macbook until the two smells matched. (Of course, such a task is simple but not easy, which is how perfurme makers make their living.)
The resulting scent will be diffused around the De facto Standard exhibition during its run from April 20 to May 12. Unlike some of Air Aroma’s products, this one won’t be on sale to the public, not least because that would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Still, it would be fun to see the concept extended. We could have the haunting smokiness of Eau De External Hard Drive Plugged In With Wrong Power Adaptor. Or perhaps even Parfum de Linux User.