5TH FLOOR PROJECT – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

The 5th Floor Project
A design and perfume collaboration by Micah Hahn, the IAO, 5th Floor Gallery

Exhibition:Molecules: Designing the Unseen
Opening: October 4 through November 2014
5th Floor Gallery, Chinatown (502 Chung King Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90012)

Perfume: Available at 5th Floor Gallery


show_5The Fifth Floor Project is a three part collaboration between 5th Floor Gallery director Robert Apodaca, artist and designer Micah Hahn, and the IAO.

Originally conceived as an exhibition with an olfactory theme, Apodaca expanded the idea and proposed to the IAO to create a limited edition experimental perfume, riffing on an unspecified creative brief, with an unspecified culmination.

After a year of development, Apodaca and the IAO came to a fresh, uplifting unisex scent that responds to the environment in which they live and work: Urban Los Angeles.

The aromatic components of the scent were then passed along to Micah Hahn, who created a visual interpretation of that most intangible of things: Aromatic Molecules.

The resulting limited edition prints are an intricate graphic representation of the scent’s primary olfactory touchpoints, and are printed with gold foil on heavy linen paper.

The prints, the scents and the perfume are showcased in an exhibition at 5th Floor Gallery entitled ‘Molecules: Designing the Unseen‘. For the exhibition, each Molecule print is accompanied by its corresponding scent sample.


An olfactory palliative for the urban Angeleno, the scent itself counterbalances dry concrete, hot shimmering metal and the dog days of a never-ending summer with bright herbaceous citrus, tropical fruits, lush florals, and dry, sweet, musky woods.

A scent oasis for the road-weary, the scent’s story unfolds over the course of one commute. In short, it will carry you from Venice Beach to Chinatown, at rush hour.

IAO_boxVenice Beach:
Herbaceous citrus
Zesty orange
Green grass

Merging onto the 10:
Passion fruit

Passing the 405:

Made it to the 110:
Juniper berry
Clary Sage

Atlas Cedar

The scent is packaged in a limited edition wooden vessel for its launch, designed by 5th Floor’s Robert Apodaca.

Download the press release.


Carving out a hybrid practice between visual design and fine art, Micah Hahn is a typographer, an award-winning graphic designer and an artist. His print, design and collaborative work has been exhibited internationally, and in 2013 a selection of his prints were acquired for the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Micah has been invited to speak at institutions such as AIGA, the BDA Awards and California College of the Arts. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Learn more about Micah here.



5thfloor_outsideABOUT 5th FLOOR GALLERY

Opened 2008, Fifth Floor Gallery is a store and exhibition space in the heart of LA’s Chinatown. Owner Robert Apodaca’s background in architecture sees that the space delights in a mixture of contemporary art and design. Work by varying artists, designers, and architects rotate through the exhibition areas, while a steady base of unique accessories, jewelry, furniture and design objects remain on display. Interested in exploring the realms of both art and design and their multiple intersections, 5th Floor’s gallery exhibitions often lean heavily on tectonic and/or spatial notions. They believe that concept and craft are not mutually exclusive.

Learn more about 5th Floor Gallery here.