Beyoncé and Jay Z were all about the Haas Sisters—a group of South Africa craftswomen who collaborated with the Haas Brothers on a series of beautiful beasties called Afreaks—during their visit to the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
, which opened this weekend (through 21 August). But another unexpected commission reminds us that beauty is not for the eye alone: a Central Park scent designed by the Berlin-based artist Sissel Tolaas.
The fragrance was created from molecules the designer collected in different areas of Central Park three times per day, over a week last October. It is “displayed” in the triennial as a wall installation, Smell, The Beauty of Decay: SmellScape Central Park (2015-16), a special paint containing microcapsules of scent that break and release the layered aroma—including notes of horse manure—when touched.
Sissel Tolaas Smell Bar (2015-16)
“There’s a lot of work behind this invisible image,” says Toalaas, who compares the installation, which visitors are encouraged to touch, to “the skin of Central Park”. Visitors can get a whiff of the process by sniffing composite scents at the Smell Bar (2015-16) and looking at the Smell Lab (2016), shelves of chemical and scent-filled glass vials tucked into a former bathroom.
Perhaps Bey found some inspiration for her next fragrance line?