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French perfume company Kalain plans to bottle the scent of a dead loved one

Published 27/04/2015

Katia Apalategui developed the perfume company Kalain after the death of her father
Katia Apalategui developed the perfume company Kalain after the death of her father

After Katia Apalategui’s father died, she felt bereft. She missed him. She found comfort in looking at photos of him or in watching videos, but more than anything, she missed his smell.

So explains the promotional video for Kalain, Apalategui’s company that promises to bring comfort to those missing the scent of a deceased loved one - by turning it into a perfume.

Together with her son Florian, Apalategui has managed to find a team of chemists who could develop the technology to replicate an exact smell and then bottle it.

The chemists are from Havre university and have developed a technique of reproducing a person’s scent from their clothing over a period of four days.

Apaplategui markets her company as a “creator of olfactory links,” but makes it clear in the promotional material that the product is centred around nostalgia, rather than exclusively dealing with the dead.

Perfumes can be made of living loved ones for comfort when a partner is absent, or when a child is with their minder, for example, but in whichever case, the company promises to “produce the exact odour of your loved one”.

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