The smells of Los Angeles’ Koreatown—a bustling, crowded, and gritty enclave just east of downtown—aren’t particularly pleasant. K-Town, as Angelenos lovingly call it, conjures odors from loose asphalt, car exhaust, and cigarette smoke from teenagers skateboarding down uneven sidewalks. It’s not exactly a place you’d want to breathe in deeply.
But that’s just what Saskia Wilson-Brown wants visitors to do at her Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO), a nonprofit located off of Vermont Avenue in K-Town that’s focused on making the art of perfumery accessible to the public. Wilson-Brown thought the area was the perfect contrast to perfume’s entrenched history with luxury, and that basing her institute there could expose a wider audience to the industry. “The whole point is that we’re open and give access,” says Wilson-Brown. Where perfuming is concerned, “there’s that sense of exclusion, and a sense that some kid from South Central [L.A.] can’t do this. And that’s really endemic to our perception of perfume,” she says. Read the rest of this story here.
Produced by Christian Baker
Music by Audio Network
Additional Footage Courtesy of Richard Parks and Test Pattern