The Sensorium: A Journey into Scent

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The world’s first pop-up scent museum The Sensorium: Lucid Dreams from the Sensory World, is an interactive, multimedia experience designed to explore the emotions and instincts behind scent. Commissioned by Sephora and leading fragrance manufacturer Firmenich, The Sensorium features interactive and immersive installations First Scent and Lucid Dreams, developed and produced by experience design and production company The Department of the 4th Dimension (The D4D) to transport visitors into the realm of the perfumer’s imagination. The Sensorium – located in a 3,700 warehouse in New York’s Meatpacking District, launched to the public on October 15.

The project is the culmination of a longtime collaboration between The D4D and the alchemist visionaries at Firmenich involving a multi-disciplinary team of creatives lead by The D4D partners Creative Director Matt Checkowski and Executive Producer Ron Cicero. Uniting select architects, designers, technologists and writers, Checkowski and Cicero worked with Firmenich to design a truly unique, interactive experience: two interconnected environments, First Scent and Lucid Dreams, that aim to delight, surprise and engage visitors through the magic and beauty of scent. View more at

Upon entering First Scent, visitors are surrounded by motion picture media inspired by custom fragrances emitted throughout the room that trigger collective emotion and connections. Dreamlike films of cutting grass, a morning breakfast and a visit to the beach correspond to fragrances Weekend Splendor, 6:01 am and Summer Vacation designed by such superstar perfume creators as Harry Fremont and Honorine Blanc. Here, elemental and unforgettable moments are manifested in an evocative cocktail of sight, smell and sound. Next, in the museum’s marquee event Lucid Dreams, visitors can affect beautiful suspended images inspired by Firmenich’s master perfumers. Using a high tech flower sculpture, the images transform based on the power of the individual’s sniff – triggered by the unique sound transmitted by the physical act of smelling. The D4D created each room’s architecture, including the short films, beautiful floor-to-ceiling images, glowing sniff-registering flowers and the software that drove the entire soul-stirring experience. During the production and design of First Scent and Lucid Dreams, The D4D team worked on the visual experience with the custom designed perfumes on hand, to ensure the visual and auditory elements were a perfect fit for each scent and would combine in a journey of heightened perception. The perfumers and The D4D creative team collaborated throughout, with imagery and scent choices and changes influenced by the other during the process. The technical production of the interactive elements involved significant R&D including an examination of wind velocity and other triggers before landing on the auditory solution. These were among the key considerations for the exhibit, a first of its kind for the consumer. The D4D is an experience design studio that works with brands to create meaningful connections through storytelling. The company’s team of directors, designers and producers collaborate to realize productions at any scale and with a global reach. The D4D is fluent in the creative and production challenges that enable ground breaking digital content, from story to online distribution. The company’s experience includes advertising projects for TBWA Chiat / Day, Saatchi & Saatchi, Huge and Great Works; clients Electrolux, Nike, Range Rover, Microsoft, and Coke; as well as entertainment projects for ESPN, the USA Network and Steven Spielberg. For more on the company please visit: The Sensorium is located at 414 14th Street between 9th and 10th Ave and runs through November 27th, 2011. Tickets are available through the Sephora website (


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