Commissioned for the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition in Xi'an, China

Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud, Rodolphe el-Khoury (lead) and James Dixon

Scent Garden was commissioned for the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition in Xi’an, China. Scent Garden combines natural resources and embedded, digital technology to delight all the senses while favoring smell.

Scent Garden is an immersive environment that reaches beyond disciplinary and professional boundaries in its conception, design, and scope: it is a public space, a garden, a fragrance boutique, and a special effects machine for an electronically-mediated, multi-sensory experience.

Scent Garden presents a muted palette of grey stone and steel benches that rise from a continuous bed of dark gravel – deliberately placing it in stark contrast to its highly aestheticized surroundings. Terraced conifer groves and beds of rosemary and thyme create a visual and tactile connection to Xi’an while deploying a distinct olfactory picture. Motion sensor-activated scent poles diffuse plant extracts which complement these fragrances with exotic accents evoking other locales and creating an olfactory map of China. The bottled scents are available for purchase in the Glass Garden Pavilion, allowing visitors to extend and sustain their olfactory experience and recall memories from Scent garden well beyond the physical boundaries of the site.

Scent Garden is both spectacular and intimate. Its constellation of glowing scent poles creates an iconic image that denotes the garden as a public space, while its nuanced sensory readings provide sheltered and individual experiences.

Completed Project