Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sensorium by Sephora

This weekend I randomly checked out Sensorium - an exhibit in meatpacking put on by Sephora. I didn't really know what it was but since I was in the area and the cost of the exhibit ($15) is given back to you in the form of a Sephora gift card - why not!
The exhibit starts off at the beginning of a long corridor, with this neat little table with different buttons that you push that release different scents for you take a whiff of. I initially went a bit too close and got a blast of star anise which I wasn't too crazy about...
Further down the hallway, there were plenty of little exhibits, displays and tidbits of info for you to read. on one side of the wall, the history of certain scents are written on a timeline for you read as you progress down the hallway.
Mirrored glass panels are set up at the end of the first corridor which display random facts information regarding aromas, scents, etc. I think I was more interested in the mirror itself than whatever info it was spitting out. The mirror had a sensor at the bottom of the frame which looked like a regular mirror when you approached it, but displayed facts as soon as you moved out of the sensor's range.
The next part of the exhibit was different to say the least. There were little cubicle rooms lined with foam with a set of headphones for you to listen too. I was feeling a bit claustrophobic once I entered the space so I didn't listen to the headphones and randomly poked the wall instead...very mature - i know... I found a lollipop next to the headphones which I took but it ended up having no taste. I think there was a story behind the lollipop and the lack of taste - but you were supposed to listen to the recording to understand it...so it still remains a mystery to me.
The next area had displays set up which lit up at different times and released scents for you to smell. The glass tubes above were supposed to smell like bacon - but really - it smelt like the dentist's office to me and Erin....
The fourth area of the exhibit had areas set up for different types of scents: casual, playful, addictive and polished. Each type of scent had one booth with three different scents which represented those adjectives. Each scent had a place for you to put your hand under and touch a rollerball which dabbed the scent onto your hand. Overall, a pretty neat exhibit with one flaw...there 12 different scents to test - but you only have ten fingers....so smelling everything became a bit complicated.
The second last exhibit was set in a dark room where different words were displayed on one end of the wall. You had to stand back, walk forward to this orb-flower thing and smell something. Again - kind of cool but I didn't get it.
The last part of Sensorium was in my opinion the best and the most practical. Different fragrances were used to perfume glasses and marked one through six (with 4 different sets for a total of 24 different fragrances). All were unmarked so you couldn't tell what brand of perfume you were smelling - similar to a blind taste test except with scents. A booklet is provided for you to take notes and mark down what you like and what you don't. At the end of it, your favorite scents are revealed and some are definitely surprising! Personally, my favorite scent was the coffee beans which were laid out for you to sniff in between perfumes to help cleanse your nose palate - though I don't think that was the goal.
If you're in the area and want to check it out, the exhibit is running until November 27, 2011.
Who: Sensorium
What: Interactive fragrance exhibit. Cost is $15 which comes with a $15 gift card to Sephora with entrance.
When: Now through November 27, 2011. Mon (closed), Tues-Wed (3pm-10pm), Thurs-Fri (12pm-10pm), Sat (10am-10pm), Sun (10am-6pm)
Where: 414 W 14th St (b/n 9th & 10th Ave)

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