agar olfactory

agar olfactory is a project in speculative olfaction. it imagines climate disaster and apocalyptic scenarios and the type of smell landscapes that would exist in such spaces. it collapses timespace by activating embodied intensities and inviting us to adjust our palettes as we peer into the future.

as a project, it acknowledges the layered (and currently unfolding) apocalypses of our time, including, but not limited to: the sixth mass extinction event, the colonial apocalypse of 1492, and the covid-19 pandemic.

labels made with jesse mckenzie.

it’s the year 2021: you live in an urban center, forced to quarantine at your apartment in a high rise for the foreseeable future. the only verdancy you’re interacting with is on a screen or in the form of a bland lettuce mix that gets delivered to you every tuesday.

you miss the darkness of plants, their complex dampness and astringency. bitbit fulfills that for you: gathering the power of complex and bitter plants such as mugwort, valerian, fennel, and wormwood.

it’s the year 2030: wheat, rye, and bran monocultures are threatened globally by an unknown infection event. speculators inflate the price of all remaining glutinous wheat products and shoppers amass them in bulk, not knowing what comes next. it’s nearly impossible for food scientists to capture the odor of freshly baked bread, but they create a scent to appease the taste for bread that threatens to remain unfulfilled in this ecocide: cereale.

formulated with isabel lee.


year: unmarked/unknown. blue milk cap mycelium have learned to decompose the anthropogenic waste that remains across planetary surfaces. all human timekeeping devices are unmade by their thick webs of hyphae. their fruiting bodies celebrate by dripping bright blue latex onto the earth’s skin. soma:spore is a spell to help prepare for that dissolution with the gentle prowess of blue chamomile, the boundary support of blue yarrow, and a whisper of transmutative frankincense.