Thanks to a French company, it might soon be possible to store the comforting scent of a loved one forever. They plan to launch their new line of perfumes made from fragrances that people leave on their clothes, in September.
The idea for the perfumes belongs to French insurance agent Katia Apalategui. She came up with it seven years ago, when she was devastated about losing her father. At the time, she wished there was a way she could store his scent in a bottle. Apparently, her mother felt the same way: “I also miss the smell and do not want to wash his pillowcase,” she had told Katia.
Intrigued by the idea of preserving odor, Katia began to investigate if she could actually make it happen. She tried researching but met with little success, until she came across an innovation agency called Seinari, in Normandy. They put her in touch with the department of organic and macromolecular chemistry at the University of Le Havre. Researchers there were able to explore the possibilities of bringing Katia’s idea to life. After much trial and error, they actually developed a technique to extract the odor out of a person’s clothes, and reconstitute it as an alcohol-based perfume in only four days’ time.
The technique has now been purchased by a company called ‘Kalain’, founded by Katia’s son Florian Rabeau, a student at ISC Paris Business School. The startup aims to cater to grieving families who have recently lost loved ones.
“We will offer grieving families a small box containing a vial with the smell of the deceased collected from the fabric of their clothes,” Katia revealed. “It will be tailor made for clients, and will be sold at around 560 euro ($600).”
Smell is the strongest sense in terms of memory,” she added. “We provide a very emotionally charged product.”
But Kalain doesn’t plan on getting confined to the funeral business. They plan on offering human scent perfumes to other types of customers, like people who spend a great deal of time away from loved ones.
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