Experience the scent of other worlds

Ever wanted to experience a new world first hand? Well now you can.

Between March 1st and 3rd, we are teaming up with multi-sensory designers Bompas & Parr to create a unique experience to transport you to the heart of our solar system using smell, sight and sound. The three-day exhibition held in a crypt at St John’s Church in Bethnal Green, London, allows you to step inside a stylised planetarium where the planets of our solar system have been rendered in sniffable sculptures by artist Lucy Hardcastle with the scents being composed by Design in Scent.

Visitors will also experience the sound and sights of other worlds through an interplanetary soundscape conceived by Louise Beer and John Hooper.

The Scent of Other Worlds

What to expect

Whenever you travel, you’re overwhelmed by new sensory experiences – stepping off a plane to take in the scent of a new country, opening your window and listening to the sounds of a new city, or going for a walk and seeing new sights.

With this inspiration, Bompas & Parr has collaborated with perfumers, chemists and astronomers to create the scents of other planets, which will be installed within Lucy’s sculptures.

How the planets smell has been worked out using first hand information from research devices have visited the surfaces Mars and Venus. This means we have accurate measurements of the atmosphere enveloping Mars and a good knowledge of the swirling clouds of sulphuric acid that surround Venus.


For the planets that are further away, they have been analysed by spectrometer which uses the planet’s light signature to give scientists a clear understanding of the elements that exist there. This is how we know that on Jupiter, it rains diamonds.

“We wanted to create a sensory exhibit that provokes the same sense of awe and wonder that we’ve all probably felt when gazing up into the night’s sky,” Sam Bompas, of Bompas & Parr, said.

Lisa Thomas, Chief Brand Officer, Virgin Group added: “We’re always looking for ways to create new and immersive experiences and this event will give people the opportunity to experience an interplanetary journey first hand. The crypt location is particularly relevant; Virgin itself was started in a crypt!”

The Scent of Other Worlds will be open to the public between Friday March 1st and Sunday March 3rd at Lumen Crypt Gallery, St John On Bethnal Green, London. Reserve your free tickets now.


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