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Highlighting the vanishing breeds enchantment

I am happy to announce The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store (T.E.M.P.S., French for time), a hypothetical perfume line set in the future when many things in nature would have disappeared as we know it because of climate change. This is the first collection of eight scents.

The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store from Catherine Young on Vimeo.

Coasts
Climate change leads to rising sea levels, threatening to swallow up the world’s coastlines.

Coasts by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Coasts by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Coffee
Coffee bean production is dependent on cool mountainsides that are running out because of rising temperatures. Pests are also flourishing because of the warmer weather.

Coffee by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Coffee by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Honey
Climate change can make flowers open too early before bees emerge from hibernation, causing their numbers to decline.

Honey by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Honey by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Wine
Climate change is altering growth conditions for grapes, leading to changes in quality of production in wine-producing regions.

Wine by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Wine by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus species are increasingly affected by drought and flash floods. Their long regeneration times and short dispersal of their seeds mean they may not be able to keep up with the pace of climate change.

Eucalyptus by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Eucalyptus by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Peanuts
The scorching heat drastically reduces the quality of peanut production, leaving more peanuts to be processed into oil rather than the edible quality.

Peanuts by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Peanuts by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Ice
Higher temperatures are causing the earth’s glaciers and permafrost to melt.

Ice by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Ice by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Hardwood trees
Different species of trees, such as cedar, pine, and fir, are being decimated as climate change increases the risk of forest fires.

Hardwood trees by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Hardwood trees by The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

To bring the project to life, I reached out to Givaudan, a Swiss flavors and fragrance company, who sources materials that preserve the environment, stimulate the development and well-being of communities, and safeguards an efficient use of previous resources. I am grateful to Marilyn Yao, Givaudan Singapore, and Givaudan Philippines for their help in the perfumes, Maribel Garcia who curated The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures exhibition, Stephanie Faith Bautista who designed the logo, and Nino Carandang and Peter Lorenz Frac of Shuttermaster Pro for help with photography and video.

The project was a collaboration between the perfumer who mixed the scents in the lab and myself who created the world the perfumes inhabited. Claude Charmoille, VP of Perfumery in Asia, took on this challenge. Charmoille was born in the south of France where scents abound and vary according to seasons. “After completing my botanic and chemistry education, the subtle alchemy between arts – craft – andscience attracted me to the perfumer’s profession,” says Charmoille.

Personally, my favorite scent is Coasts, because it smells of a place as opposed to the others that smell of a specific objects. Because I smell the beach, I remember my childhood memories in the beaches of the Philippines—white sand, coconut trees, the ocean breeze, salty seashells and all. For Charmoille, it’s Eucalyptus. “This one is my favourite, it brings back memories from my childhood when we visited small islands in the Mediterranean sea close to Cannes. In the hot summer days, the eucalypus and pine trees would perfume the air to a degree one can not forget, this warm aromatic and fruity whiff will always remain deeply linked to seaside vacation and family memories.”

As a designer, my intention was to show people a different side of the climate change scenario. Smell is very sensuous and visceral; its effects are instantaneous. Instead of showing statistics of what will disappear because of climate change, I decided to let people smell them. Highlighting the temporary breeds enchantment. As smell is linked to memory, I’m hoping that people will think about how their lives will be without these seemingly ordinary objects that we take for granted that might not be there anymore.

TEMPSgroup

The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store

Concept and Design
Catherine Sarah Young

Perfumes
Claude Charmoille of Givaudan

Exhibition
The Mind Museum
Curator
Maria Isabel Garcia

With thanks to
Givaudan Singapore Pte Ltd c/o Claude Charmoille for providing the fragrances
Marilyn Yao and Neri Mamburam

Graphic Design
Stephanie Faith Bautista
Photography
Nino Carandang
Video and Editing
Peter Lorenz Frac of Shuttermaster Pro

Shot at Shuttermaster Pro

It’s been a while since I’ve updated. But that’s because there’s just so much to do and too little time to blog about it. But here’s a photograph of a worm steak by two of the seven chefs I’m collaborating with for another project for The Apocalypse Project. I ate it. I ate it all! It came with weeds and mashed sweet potato.

I’m pescetarian, so this was a gray area (fish eat worms no?), but I call it Designer’s Responsibility, as I like to think of the seven-year-olds I often encounter during my projects and would like to make sure this is ok for mass consumption. Take one for the team, or for humanity.

Worms! Weeds! Waste! Oh la la!

Worms! Weeds! Waste! Oh la la!

It was more of a mental challenge, as I kept thinking of the worms and kept telling myself it was just meat. And then I remembered I’m pescetarian and don’t eat meat. It was incredibly tasty, though, and Chef Erik told me it was 82% protein.

Verdict: Green light! I can’t wait for people to try it. That’s not even the craziest part. Stay tuned here or at http://www.apocalypse.cc for what’s next.

May 14, Manila—Thanks, Atom Araullo, for featuring The Apocalypse Project on ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda, a morning show that airs in the Philippines. The link to the episode’s recording is here, or if you’re based outside the Philippines, here at The Filipino Channel. The clip is around the 6:20AM mark, with a segment about The Mind Museum.

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It’s the first Tagalog interview I’ve given in my life. You have no idea how much the museum staff are patting me on the back for this.

As part of The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures exhibition, questions about climate change are hidden in the exhibits of The Mind Museum. My goal was to recontextualize all of the museum—that is, after you see the Apocalypse exhibits, then visitors can see the current exhibits as representations of things that are under threat.

As I cannot be in the museum each day to handle hundreds of visitors, I am extremely happy and grateful for these people who now form the Manila crop of the Apocalypse Squad. The suits are looking really cool, you guys.

The Apocalypse Squad, Manila

The Apocalypse Squad, Manila

In addition to facilitating the scavenger hunt, they also get to lead participants to have an oath-taking ceremony, where they pledge to help the planet. They are then awarded an Apocalypse Project Commander Badge and are knighted. With a sword, of course.

Knighting people who have won the Mission Apocalypse scavenger hunt

Knighting people who have won the Mission Apocalypse scavenger hunt

Many thanks to the hundreds of people who have done the Mission Apocalypse scavenger hunt. The work is just beginning for me, and I needed a few days to rest. Tune in for more developments!

Top photo by Darwin Cayetano of Tracking Treasure, used with permission.

April 25, Manila—Mitzi Borromeo of Solar Nightly News interviewed me about The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures at The Mind Museum, and featured Climate Change Couture (Singapore and Manila), The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, and the Apocalypse Commander Badge. I’ll post a link to the interview when it’s available. Scroll down for a link to the video.

Thanks so much to Lisa Nicandro of The Mind Museum for additional support!

With Mitzi Borromeo of Solar Nightly News

With Mitzi Borromeo of Solar Nightly News

with Mitzi Borromeo of Solar Nightly News

with Mitzi Borromeo of Solar Nightly News

The link to the video is here, somewhere past the 30′ mark:

Solar News filming The Apocalypse Project booth during Media Day last month

Solar News filming The Apocalypse Project booth during Media Day last month

Edit: An earlier link mistakenly linked to Solar Network News, instead of Solar Nightly News. Apologies to people who were confused (sheepish glance at SVA’s Communications person who emailed me). 

April 25, Taguig, Philippines—The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures is now open for your interactive sensory pleasure at The Mind Museum. I have five exhibits curated by the awesome Maribel Garcia, with the exhibition installation managed by Marge Arciaga, the museum’s assistant exhibition manager (and my former capoeira classmate).

Here are some quick photos of the exhibition:

The show is at the second floor, in the museum’s Technology Gallery.

The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures at The Mind Museum

The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures at The Mind Museum

Climate Change Couture, volume 2, Manila

Climate Change Couture: Volume 2, Manila

Climate Change Couture: Volume 2, Manila

The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, a collaboration with Givaudan:

The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, a collaboration by The Apocalypse Project and Givaudan

The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, a collaboration by The Apocalypse Project and Givaudan

The Planetary Poetry Board, a collaboration with poets and my friends Alena Widows and Harriet Sandilands:

The Planetary Poetry Board: a collaboration between The Apocalypse Project and poets Alena Widows and Harriet Sandilands of The Poetry Machine

The Planetary Poetry Board: a collaboration between The Apocalypse Project and poets Alena Widows and Harriet Sandilands of The Poetry Machine

More documentation as well as images coming soon! In the meantime, a huge thank you to the museum staff—this was a brutal installation because there were so many exhibits to be installed in one night after the museum’s operating hours, but this was hands down the calmest and cheeriest installation I’ve had. Thank you for the help and for being game with everything!

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