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What Does Ecstasy Smell Like?

Christophe Laudamiel + Stuart Firestein

Saturday, March 13, 2010
4:00 PM–5:30 PM

The famed creator of Elton John Black Candle and Ralph Lauren Polo Blue, perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, talks to the Columbia University neuroscientist Stuart Firestein about the delicate science and art of olfaction. Firestein is an expert on how the perception of odors is converted into electrochemical signals in the brain, focusing on the highly specialized olfactory neuron.

Christophe Laudamiel has been a fine-fragrance perfumer at International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. since 2000. He has created fragrances for Abercrombie & Fitch, Frederic Fekkai, Cath Kidston, the Estee Lauder Companies, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, and Harvey Nichols, Slatkin & Co.–including the award-winning Elton John’s Black Candle. He is co-creator of Polo Blue for Men, Ralph Lauren 2002, allegedly the largest launch and success of a men’s fragrance in the history of perfumery. This fragrance received in New York City the 2003 FIFI Award for Fragrance Star of the Year as well as the Perfumers’ Choice Award.

Stuart Firestein is a professor of neurobiology at Columbia University.Firestein holds a PhD in Neuroscience from UC Berekeley and was a Postdoctoral Fellow with Gordon Shepherd, Yale University Medical School. His laboratory investigates the development, function, and regulation in the vertebrate olfactory system. They utilize molecular, anatomical, electrophysiological, behavioral, and computational methods in an effort to answer a fundamental human question: “How do I smell?”
The New York Times Community Affairs Department is a media sponsor for this event.
BRAINWAVE is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.