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The smell of the end times: Apocalypse perfume for sale


Thursday 21 April 2016

British artists John Thomson and Alison Craighead have created a luxury perfume called Apocalypse that aims to satirise the commodification of end times.

The pair worked with perfumer Euan McCall to combine the olfactory elements described in the Book of Revelation, including burnt flesh, incense and blood.

Presented in a velvet-lined box, it is part of an exhibition called Party Booby Trap at London’s Carroll/Fletcher Gallery.

But it is also meant to be a wearable perfume and is for sale in a limited edition for £300 (about $555).

The Apocalypse perfume

The Apocalypse perfume. Photograph: Thomson and Craighead, courtesy of Carroll/Fletcher

Author Victoria Turk, writing in Motherboard online magazine, found the scent “surprisingly not unpleasant”.

“The Apocalypse smells sweet. Sickly sweet to start, with a metallic tang and notes of smoke,” she wrote.

However, Guardian journalist Nell Frizzell described the smell as like bile and said it left her with “an undeniable feeling of dread right there in my bowels”.

“It certainly raises questions about our hunger for luxury in the face of climate change, war, social disintegration and environmental collapse,” she wrote.

Eternity wonders what our readers think the end times would smell like? Instead of fire and sulphur, could we substitute smells of the 12 crops of fruit and healing leaves that the tree of life will bear in the New Jerusalem?

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