Step into a unique Aesop scent experience with Nostos: Records of the Self

Step into a unique Aesop scent experience with Nostos: Records of the Self

Breathe it in

Text: Angelyn Kwek

Aesop stages a scent exhibition that calls for an immersive navigation with your nose

Humans may be visual creatures, but our noses have an optical bent of its own that tie experiences and smells into an evocative walk down Nostalgia Avenue. Just think back on how many times you've scented eggnog in the air and immediately recalled your festive carousing and the unbidden image of a certain Mr Klaus. And who but Aesop is able to engineer this concept into a sensorial exhibition?

In an olfactory expression titled 'Nostos: Records of the Self', the Melbourne-based skincare label is taking the curious on an aromatic walkthrough that celebrates the intrinsic link between scent and memory, driven by Aesop's brand aesthetic and its use of botanicals. Inspired by the Greek word nóstos, which means homecoming or return, the exhibition not only offers a unique fragrance, it's a moment in time imprinted upon your senses. Below, we sniff out the deets:

Aesop Nostos: Records of the Self

Where: Inside a transformed Gallery 10 at the National Museum, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Singapore Night Festival. It's the perfect, tranquil (i.e. air-conditioned) alcove to slip off to for some respite when the crowds get a tad overwhelming.

What: One handcrafted, 200-litre centrepiece steel well, nine 120-litre flanking miniatures, countless lightbulbs and three unique notes — we shan't be revealing what — all amounting to a scented space that invites you to retreat to your mindscape for contemplation and recollection. Cloaked in a soothingly dimmed ambiance, the exhibition is lit only by clusters of hanging lightbulbs that act as diffusers, burning at a consistent 45 degrees Celsius to heat the wells of essential oils. Paired with an atmospheric soundtrack, it makes for an immediate transportation to a serene, almost meditative environ. 

How-to: Pick up the varied nuances and play nose detective by gently blowing across the surface of the essential oils; the resulting ripples will bring out the fragrance. Alternatively, coax the aroma up your nose by waving your hand close-ish to the diffusers, as the generated heat concentrates the scent right below the lightbulbs. Deep breaths, exhale, repeat.

Aesop Nostos: Records of the Self

'Nostos: Records of the Self' runs until 26 August, walk-ins from 10am to 12am. All Aesop stores will diffuse the exhibition's scent for the duration of the Singapore Night Festival