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Quite sophisticated

The perfumer’s trained nose could pick up a faint scent in the glass bowls, and declared acuta’s smell to be “quite sophisticated,” Simun said. It contained musk, green, and floral elements, as well as a sweet, almost tropical note at the end. Working with the perfumer, Simun split the scent into two elements—a fragrance, to be delivered to the nostrils using her smell headset, and a flavor, to be consumed as a cocktail. Together, she hoped, the two would mingle in a participant’s olfactory system to create a fleeting perception of Agalinis acuta’s scent as never before experienced by humans.

— Artist Miriam Simun gets help from IFF to capture the scent of an almost-extinct flower. Read more at Agalinis Acuta, Phantom Flower at The New Yorker.

Les Lilas

A stroll through the garden created by Diptyque founders Yves Coueslant and Desmond Knox-Leet (both men are now deceased), in Normandy.

Olfactory receptors in skeletal muscles

The same year, Grace Pavlath, a biologist at Emory University, published a study on olfactory receptors in skeletal muscles. She found that bathing the receptors in Lyral, a synthetic fragrance redolent of lily of the valley, promoted the regeneration of muscle tissue. Blocking these receptors (by neutralizing the genes that code for them), on the other hand, was found to inhibit muscular regeneration, suggesting that odor receptors are a necessary component of the intricate biochemical signaling system that causes stem cells to morph into muscles cells and replace damaged tissue.

 — Read more at Smell Turns Up in Unexpected Places at the New York Times. Hat tip to Aparatchik!