'Abduction' Perfume Aims to Replicate the Scent of Close Encounters


Los Angeles artist Joe Merrell has partnered with perfumer Christopher Gordon to manufacture a new 'eau de parfum' designed to replicate the scents some people say they've smelled during alien abduction experiences.

The perfume, labeled 'Abduction,' came as a result of Merrell's participation in a UFO and abduction-themed art installation in 2016.

"The idea for it came from a collaboration I did with a woman named Saskia Wilson-Brown for my UFO/abduction themed gallery installation at Machine Project gallery in Echo Park in early 2016," Merrell told the Singular Fortean Society.

The art installation piece originally relied on a much "stronger and harsher" scent, which Merrell "toned down" to make wearable.

Merrell drew from research that went into the art installation to inform the perfume's bouquet--including letters to Whitley Strieber collected in The Communion Letters.

"To my knowledge there isn’t a specific work dealing with scents associated with [alien abductions] and the research for this project drew from a range of sources," Merrell said in a statement on his website. "Of these, letters to Whitley Strieber collected in The Communion Letters contain a fair number of references to scents and are fascinating in their detail and consistency." 

Merrell also noted that Antonio Rullán’s paper Odors from UFOs: Deducing Odorant Chemistry and Causation from Available Data examines scents associated with physical craft. 

Some common scents associated with abduction experiences are cinnamon, burning paper, damp earth, yeast, and overripe fruit, according to Merrell. 

The perfume is reportedly accurate enough to evoke feelings of familiarity from abduction experiencers. 

"I have been asked whether anyone reporting alien encounters has smelled Abduction and if so, what do they think," he said in his statement. "The answer is 'yes' and the responses from those who recall scents has ranged from 'familiar' to 'uncomfortably similar.'"

Merrell reinforced his emphasis on research when he spoke to the Singular Fortean Society.

"One of the main things I hope people get from this new project is that apart from the novelty aspect, it's actually based on research and that those who do remember scents recall very similar things," he said.

'Abduction' is available for purchase at Merrell's website, The Eyes Are Always There.

Tobias Wayland