Somerset House x Spring

What do you notice first—the smell when you enter a room, or the way it looks? Perhaps it’s impossible to separate the two, but either way, the new exhibition at Somerset House will push your perception of both to the limit. Running through 10 rooms, a collection of self-taught and classically-trained perfumers has created an olfactory journey using bespoke scents and spaces designed to bring them to life. This is less about traditional perfumery, which largely revolves around masking a natural smell, and more about recreating unusual moments and experiences from real life. Take notes as you go through, and when you come to the end you can see if your perception matched up with reality. Somerset House’s divine Spring restaurant, created by Skye Gyngell, is right next door, and for the duration of the exhibition if you book lunch or dinner along with a ticket to the exhibition, you can enjoy a free Bellini thrown in. Now there’s a smell we can all enjoy.

Perfume: A Sensory Journey at Somerset House (until September 17), Strand, London WC2R 1LA (020 7845 4600); @somersethouse; @spring_ldn

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