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One night, Christopher Brosius was home watching a movie. He'd rented Le Testament d'Orphée, the last film made by Jean Cocteau. The story line features the poet-director himself rising from the dead and retracing abstract moments from his past. The film resonated with Brosius. After developing a reputation over nearly two decades as the perfume world's Willy Wonka for his vast and odd library of fragrances--Black Leather Jacket, Doll's Head, Ginger Ale 2006, to name a few--he'd been wondering what other olfactory experiences he could create. Had he peaked?
Then came the very surreal scene in the film in which one character says the following words to another: "Where we are, there is no 'here.' "
Here, there. Where? The absurdist line reminded Brosius of studies he'd read detailing the mysteries of the human nose, and why some people can detect scents that others can't--while some can lose the sense of smell altogether. Anosmia, the condition is called. Brosius's mental gears began to click. He thought, Wouldn't it be clever to create a perfume that only certain people can smell? Invisible perfume. Now, that would be an existential achievement: It smells so good you can't even smell it.
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