Exploring the scent of other worlds

Virgin partnered with Bompas & Parr to explore the smells, sounds and sights of the solar system in a multi-sensory exhibition, The Scent of Other Worlds.



The three-day exhibition was hidden away in a crypt underneath a church in East London. A subtle entrance created a sense of discovery as visitors left busy London streets and followed posters to descend into the church, transitioning into a calm and serene space.

The small space featured sculptural interpretations of the planets, created by local artist Lucy Hardcastle. Each planet used a different medium and was clearly made with a high level of craftmanship. Visitors were encouraged to interact with each planet, using a low-tech foot pedal to release a corresponding scent. These scents, created by Design in Scent, aimed to evoke the smell of each planet.

Exploring the scent of other worlds



The sensory experience encouraged visitors to imagine life on other planets and ponder their perception of our own planet Earth. It was easy, and amusing, to compare the scents to familiar everyday smells from spray paint to popular deodorant brand Lynx.

Visitors were left to explore the space themselves, working their way through the planets towards a large sun, projected on the back wall of the space. The crypt’s space complemented the concept and gentle sounds, created by Louise Beer and John Hooper, helped visitors to disconnect from their thoughts and focus on the experience.

Exploring the scent of other worlds



Combining the art with sounds and scents created an exploratory experience, however the link to the Virgin brand was lacking. As one of the brands at the forefront of space travel, it was interesting to see Virgin take an alternative approach to space. However, more could have been done to link in the brand’s mission and shift brand perception from lifestyle brand, to interplanetary explorer.

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