Smell works in many contexts as a trigger for fantasies: a scent reaches your nose surprisingly or familiarly and evokes memories and daydreams. Although associations with scents are extremely personal, they are also subject to conditioning factors that may be cultural, temporal or contextual.
This paper traces conditioning factors and fantasies connected with smells by analysing the
creations and marketing strategies of the Library of Fragrance, a company that commodifies the
close relationship of smelling and daydreaming. What associations and atmospheres are chosen
to be turned into perfume and how do perfumers find them? Which culturally constructed smell
associations are profitable? How do individuals resist commodified scent-associations and where
are the limits of instrumentalisation? Furthermore, what can we glean from smell regarding the
practice of daydreaming?