Melbourne, Australia based art collective Greatest Hits have commissioned a scent that replicates the aroma of a newly opened Apple Macbook Pro as part of their exhibition De facto standard at Melbourne’s West Space.
The conceptual work explores the way people experience consumer technology and references the obsolescence of technology, the transience of a freshly opened product and the implications of brand marketing.
By giving the exhibition the title De facto standard - a standard that has become a standard because it is widely used rather than because it was officially approved by some standards organization or government - Greatest Hits are also questioning the influence that brand identity has on people’s perception of a product.
After searching for a company up to the task of creating the scent, artists Gavin Bell, Jarah de Kuijer and Simon McGlinn of Greatest Hits approached the Melbourne based scent solutions company Air Aroma who indicated that they were up to the job.
After purchasing a new Macbook Pro, the sealed box was sent to the company’s lab in France where experts went about recreating the scent emitted during the unpacking of the product.
According to Air Aroma,“the aroma requested for the project was the scent of an Apple product being opened for the first time. A distinctive scent can be observed when unwrapping a newly purchased Apple product from its packaging. Apple fans will certainly recognize this smell. The scent created for Greatest Hits encompasses the smell of the plastic wrap covering the box, printed ink on the cardboard, the smell of paper and plastic components within the box and of course the aluminum laptop which has come straight from the factory where it was assembled in China.”
In an interview with Macworld Australia, Greatest Hits explained that “in a symbolic way, the work attempts to capture the ‘essence’ of the product in an effort to understand the aura surrounding it”.
The group went on to say that “we were also considering the idea of what is ‘new’, particularly in current times of increasing obsolescence. The transience of a freshly opened product, of technological innovation and of trends and fashion in general, seemed to align themselves with the nature of smell, a transient and elusive medium. In a way the work will act as an archive, prolonging the lifespan of a particular point in time, allowing it to live on after the obsolescence of the laptop itself.”
The Apple unboxing scent was created for use at this particular exhibition only and is not available for purchase.
The De facto standard exhibition takes place at Melbourne’s West Space from April 20 - May 12
For more information on the exhibition visit:
For more information on the artistic collaboration group Greatest Hits visit their website: