Project founder Katia Apalategui had the idea when she saw her grieving mother smelling her dead father’s pillow case. From teenagers stealing their crush’s hooded sweatshirt because it “smells like them” to love poet Pablo Neruda describing how “better than any word, is the pulse of your scent,” we know that the smell of a loved one is powerful, personal and evocative.
All Kalain needs is a T-shirt from which they “take the person’s clothing and extract the odour which represents about a hundred molecules – and reconstruct it in the form of a perfume in four days,”. They say that their method is accurate enough to bring someone we are infatuated with to mind, providing reassurance and maybe some comfort.
Could this help with grieving loved ones? Researchers at the University of British Columbia's psychology department found that you can reduce your stress levels by smelling your partner's clothes. As unorthodox as this project may seem, maybe it could also be a gentle step towards letting go.