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Nose to Nose – July 9, 2010 – Smell-o-vision is coming!

Photo - Wikimedia Commons - Macarons Arc-en-ciel at Ladurée in Paris,

by Sunny Ripert

Gwen:        You know, I was just thinking…

Kay:           Uh-oh…

Gwen:        You know, I don’t think the greatest invention was the wheel. I think it was the atomizer. Well, at least it’s the greatest invention for perfumistas.

Kay:          Well, it certainly changed how we experience perfume, that’s for sure – it made it so much better, bigger, and fuller! But you know, I just read about another potential game-changer….the oPhone.

Gwen:        Oh, I read about that too. Isn’t it an invention which uses the iPhone as a delivery system for scents, developed by a Harvard professor and a former student?

Kay:          Yep. I’m just on the Vapor Communications website now. David Edwards and Rachel Field are the co-inventors, along with a team of talented designers. It’ll be launched in 2015, but for now, you can download oSnap, the company’s iPhone app, from iTunes, and if you happen to be in New York at the Museum of Natural History, or in Paris, or Cambridge, Mass. where they have oPhone hotspots, you can talk about, watch, and sniff foody smells like coffee, chocolate, croissants, or macarons.  Gwen, come here and check out this video…

Gwen:        Will ya look at that! It says that this oSnap app from the Apple store will allow users to tag photographs with over 300,000 unique scents, and the scent-tagged images, or oNotes, will be electronically sent and received through email. WoW! We’ll be able to sample new frags without spilling a drop of wine!

 Kay:          I don’t quite see how it will work for perfumes, though, because they are so many notes in perfumes in such complicated formulas. I guess it could give you an IDEA of what a frag would smell like, the main notes anyway.  

Gwen:        You may have a point there. Technology is great but it can’t replace the real thing, especially when it comes to experiencing art.

Kay:           Seeing even a big-screen digital photo of Michelangelo’s David doesn’t compare to standing in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence and being totally overwhelmed by how incredibly huge and perfectly beautiful that sculpture is. I can’t imagine smelling Guerlain’s Shalimar on an oPhone, and getting any kind of emotion from it. That amazing perfume has to be on warm skin to bloom and come alive.

Gwen:        You’re right, Kay. Fragrance becomes part of the person wearing it – it’s a real human experience, not a digital or virtual experience.

Kay:            But the whole concept and technology is fabulous – smell-o-vision has finally arrived! It will be great for many things, especially food…

Gwen:         You know what I think they should have called it? The EauPhone.

Kay:            Eaumigod! I can’t believe you just said that!

Click on these links, like the Indiegogo campaign, Wired article, and Facebook, and learn about this fascinating new technology. Who knows? As it develops and grows, maybe the oPhone will revolutionize how perfume lovers experience testing new fragrances. We remember when PC’s were only for rich geeks…