Euglossa is perfume based on the scent compounds Euglossa orchid bees use to attract a mate. It is a honeyed, earthy scent composed of florals, pollen, spices and deep forest, with a trace of petroleum and pesticides.
Artist Carla Bengtson collaborated with orchid bee researcher Dr. Santiago Ramirez and pollination biologist Dr. Peter Wetherwax to develop an all-natural fragrance inspired by the complex perfumes male Euglossa craft to attract a mate. Male euglossine, or orchid bees, found in Central and South America, fly long distances, up to 30 miles, and visit multiple odor sources, to create an attractive scent that is a blend of 30-40 different scent compounds. Once the bees have accumulated sufficient quantities of their precious scent compounds, they perform an elaborate courtship display in which they expose and disperse their scents for females, who mate with males displaying the most attractive perfume blends.
Besides collecting compounds that humans consider attractive, such as benzoins, eugenols, and anisols, the bees collect scents that humans consider offensive, such as compounds from feces, and the insecticide DDT. These compounds are used for the perfume’s base notes, much as we might use civet to add base notes to human perfumes. As each orchid species has a single, species-specific pollinator, these displaced compounds suggest profound consequences for over 200 described species of orchids and bees, as well as yet to be described species that are in danger of going extinct even as they are being discovered.
Sceloporus is a perfume based on Sceloporus lizard scent pheromones.
It is a surprisingly fresh, yet animalic perfume that blends with the wearer’s own skin chemistry to create a soft, sheer, more-than-human presence.
Sceloporus lizards (also known as Western Fence lizards, or blue-bellies) communicate with one another across time and space using bouquets of pheromones secreted from their thighs, along with physical gestures. Artist Carla Bengtson collaborated with biologists Dr. Emilia Martins and Dr. Peter Wetherwax to develop an all-natural fragrance based on the lizard's citrusy/flowery scent compounds.
The lizard's scent compounds, which it uses to attract a mate, include pyrizines, which lend distinctive grassy notes to cabernet sauvignon, and are also found in citrus, coffee, and chocolate; and jasmonates, found in flowers. We suggest that you sample the perfume while tasting related scent compounds present in wine, grapefruit, chocolate, and coffee.
Learning Lizard Bandana
Attempt interspecies communication with a fence lizard with this handy hiker's bandana.
BACKGROUND: Sceloporus lizards (also known as Western Fence lizards, or blue-bellies) communicate with one another using physical gestures, along with pheromones secreted from their thighs. Biologist Dr. Emilia Martins uses lizard robots to study the unique, species-specific patterns of head-bob movements that fence lizards use to communicate with one another. In the process of working with lizards in the field, Martins has learned that fence lizards will respond with species-identification displays to finger bob movements that correctly mimic their distinctive head-bob patterns.
INSTRUCTIONS: Find a fence lizard. Bob your finger in a rapid up and down motion, following the graph at the top of the bandana.
The horizontal axis = duration, the vertical axis = height of the head at the top of the movement.