A Wildlife

skin fragrances that act as a carrier for invisible communication while investigating the consequences of a hyper-hygenic society

At birth the human is generally considered sterile. From the first seconds of life, the newborn’s gut is being colonised with microorganisms. In the following years microbe culture will grow immensely and be shaped by the body’s environment and social interactions. The genomes of these microbial symbionts, defined as the ‘microbiome’, outnumber human genomes by a factor of one to two. With over a thousand bacterial species living in our gut, the human body is filled with wildlife.
 
The microbiome is part of the unconscious system regulating immune functions, cognition, learning, and memory. Without microbes, humans would be unhealthy, non-social beings. Especially through body odour, the microbiome communicates information about their host to the outside world while responding to other microbiomes instinctively. This ability to influence behaviour has heralded the microbiome as the next frontier for health sciences, commerce, and even politics.

Apply the gel to the palm of your hand. Rub hands together until dry. When the alcohol evaporates the fragrance becomes detectable.

The three fragrances:

Oily Mud
In spite of our health and safety-obsessive society, actinomycetes, the bacteria that grows in soil, boosts our serotonin and dopamine levels. 'Oily Mud makes use of these fragrant microbes which are able to decrease feelings of stress, melancholia, and impulsive aggression.
 
Blind Collision
A male deer uses musk (the scent of their testosterone) to attract female mates. Blind Collision works with those animalistic and feral aromas; your chances of attracting a mate are increased, but keep in mind that musk isn’t for everyone... 
 
Sour Tooth
This fragrance uses butyric acid, one of the strongest smelling microbes produced as a result of anaerobic fermentation. It is responsible for our typical body odour, and communicates information about each individual’s immune system. These microbes help to guide humans towards a genetically fitting partner. 

Essay Dirt for publication I See That I See What You Don’t See published by Het Nieuwe Instituut on occasion of the Dutch contribution to the XXII Triennale di Milano.

Credits:
Commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut for the Dutch Pavilion at Milan Triennial 2019.
Scents produced by International Flavors and Fragrances.

A Wildlife at Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2019.

Credits:
Commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut for the Dutch Pavilion at Milan Triennial 2019.
Scents produced by International Flavors and Fragrances.