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.