Free: Scent Weekend at the Hammer

Panels, workshops, and a lab explore the mysteries and history of scent.

When we visit a museum, we expect to connect with the experience via our eyes, our ears, and, yes, our hearts and minds.

It's a rare instance, however, when the nose is pressed into sniff-big service during a day at an art institution. But the nose shall indeed lead at a special, weeklong spectacular that's all about scent.

The AIX Scent Fair is setting up the fragrant bottles, sniff-lovely panels, smell-cool talks, and a Mother's Day, kid-nice Scent Lab at the Hammer Museum through Sunday, May 8.

There are some special doings on each day -- a Friday night kick-off panel that'll include smell scientists and olfactory experts -- and, as mentioned, the children-ready Scent Lab is on Mother's Day.

As for the full-on, free-to-attend Scent Fair, which will boast a bevy of olfacto-avenues for connecting with fragrances of all sorts? Prepare for a Saturday and/or Sunday afternoon spent strolling, stopping, and sniffing, and, of course, chatting up the makers of the fragrances you're getting to know.

Is that a dash of cinnamon you smell? Or lilac? Or coffee? How the nose interprets an invisible-to-the-eye whiff of poetry has long been a rich area of study and art.

While the Westwood art museum is the host location, also keep an eye out for The Institute for Art and Olfaction, as well as Luckyscent/Scent Bar, the two co-presenters of the redolent weekend. (And do note that if you have allergies or sensitivities, this might not be your jam, advises the museum.)

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Have you ever had the experience of smelling a flower from when you were very young, and being instantly transported back? How about the moment when you sniff something intriguing but can't quite place it? And do you know every food you love from scent alone?

Then you've experienced the astoundingness of the perfectly amazing protuberance in the middle of our faces. To spend a museum-major weekend celebrating it, via a host of esoteric and everyday fragrances, is an honor the nose is due.

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