2017 Fundraiser – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

“When it comes to cultural organizations and their critical potential to expand our
experience and understanding of the world, the IAO is in a league of its own.”
– Todd Lerew (IAO Donor; Program Manager, Library Foundation of Los Angeles)



Well, phew! We did it. In one month 99 people pitched in to help us meet 123% of our fundraising goals. Our sincere thanks to this community of kind-hearted and generous people who threw their support behind the IAO. We won’t let you down.

> Meet the 2017 campaign donors
> Review our mission
> Ask us a question
> Meet our members, and our past supporters
> Meet the team





It’s been several years since our last big fundraiser. While we’ve been doing a great job at running this multi-faceted non-profit, we are also coming up on a very busy time! We have so many new exciting programs to plan, all of them big, ambitious, community-oriented, and public-facing. Producing these new programs requires a little extra help.

What’s coming up:

+ A documentary film, which we are producing with Luca Turin (ongoing through 2019)
+ ‘The Remix Project’ – an international scent collaboration, with Spyros Drosopoulos (Fall, 2018)
+ A month-long programming block about scent cultures in the Middle East and North Africa, with Dana El Masri (May, 2018)
+ The 5th annual Art and Olfaction Awards, taking place this year in London (April 21, 2018)
+ The 2nd Experimental Scent Summit, with Klara Ravat (April, 2018)
+ Our ongoing workshops, classes, talks and public programs…
+ And some pretty cool other projects (and expansions), to be announced when the time is right.

You can see the breadth and quantity of what we get up to here in our archive and at the Art and Olfaction Awards archive.

This fundraiser will also go towards some more prosaic but necessary things like:

+ Non-profit Administration: It’s not very sexy, but the every day administration of a thriving non-profit is the crucial component to getting the more creative things done. Challenges include insurance upgrades, bookeeping, coordinating judging on the 5th annual Art and Olfaction Awards, filling out grant aplications and researching and implementing environmentally-responsible waste disposal.
+ Experimental Perfume Lab Space: We need to make some crucial upgrades to the equipment in our public-facing experimental space – including a new lab refrigerator, chairs, library purchases, and light construction.



The mission of the IAO is to make scent materials and education accessible to the people who have traditionally not had access.  We use the lens of scent, but we believe that through scent you can reach many fields – sociology, for instance, not to mention history, chemistry, technology, conceptual art, social justice and much much more.

Experimental transmedia art spaces like the IAO help us all. The IAO does its part by encouraging connections between disparate concepts, by facilitating the exploration of gray areas, by supporting artists and emergent perfumers, and by helping people engage in science, creativity and good old fashioned experimentation.

As a non-profit, we invest back into the community that we serve. Any income we have at the IAO is paid forward into the programs we develop – things like the Artisan Independent and  Experimental. Scent Fair with Darin Klein, the Experimental Scent Summit with Klara Ravat, as well as our artists-in-residence, perfumers-in-residence, and – of course – the Art and Olfaction Awards. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the past five years, we’ve hosted hundreds of events – many of the free, most of them public – that invited visitors into the wild, woolly world of scent. We did this on site at the IAO, and also in partnership with institutions such as Hammer Museum, Getty Institute, Danish Film Institute, the National Media Museum  in the UK, amongst others.

All this, to us, is worth supporting.



You have questions? Sure! We all do. Luckily, we’ve got answers. Email us at and we’ll get right back to you.

Thanks for your time. We hope to see you at the IAO in Chinatown in L.A. or at an IAO event somewhere out in the world very soon!