This is a scent capsule containing a synthetic perfume of orchid bees, synthesized through reverse engineering of scent traps created by scientists to trap these bees for study. Skatole is the only compound added on top of the scent traps,  a compound that gives mammalian feces that distinctive odor, a compound that often ends up in perfumes that orchid bee make.
Skatole is also used in traditional perfumery as a fixative. What is conceived as a culturally important scent? Olfactory racism teaches us the relationship between smell and power. Power lacks scent, and what humans find disgusting is very much imperial conditioning.

Orchid bees (Euglossini)

have a unique fragrance biology— they are thought to be the only species other than humans that gather ingredients and make fragrance compositions. In decline from Mexico to Brazil, these bees are the sole pollinators of many flowers including the Vanilla Orchid.  Hsurae has created a computation of the fragrance of this bee through “scientific instrumentality.” She has written, “When their ecology is dead and the species long gone, this may serve as the only memory of the orchid bee.”

Read entire interview with Gayil Nalls

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