The TAX Collection Curation Creation Collabroation

Olfactory Activations and the Branding of Our Senses | A Conversation with DetroitWick

“Our goal is to create an encounter that involves all 5 senses when you walk through the door.” Detroit based creative lab ‘DetroitWick’ strives to stimulate the olfactory system with his custom experiences, blurring the line between pleasure and art. Utilizing a wide range of material to create unique and customized artworks and scents, they create these together in harmony to produce a stunning array of collectibles. We caught up with the team to discuss where they’ve been this year and their plans for the future. Check out our conversation below!

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You work in a lot of interesting mediums ­kcan you tell us more about how you got into “Scent branding”?

DetroitWick was born by accident. 4 yrs ago I tripped over a grey goose bottle after an event. The liquor bottle was broken almost clean in half, and as i stared at it, I thought about how cool it’d be to use that vessel to make a candle. I started recycling glass (everything from faygo pop bottles to high end champagne like Dom P. I caught incredible traction pretty quick and clubs around the country were sending me empty bottles by the thousands. I was doing some insane numbers. Although I was making a ton of these recycled bottle candles, clients were really wanting me to brand other vessels with my library of scents. I saw a real lane with scent branding and focussing on B2B to scale my company. Now I work with brands like GM, Lincoln, NAIAS, etc.

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Can you tell us a little more about your process, from conception to creation (For example, the Supreme newspaper casting or the “kilo”)

I stay curious, and I’m always searching for new ways to help brands/businesses elevate their customer experience through smell & sculpture. I personally like to explore culturally relevant objects, pop culture, design, product and add an unexpected twist to it. I try to make sure I tell the story with a beginning/middle/end. Being a Detroit Native and the recent premier of the White Boy Rick Movie, I created this. A wild story for nearly 3 decades now, informant turned drug dealer ‘white boy rick’, was one of America’s youngest hustlers & longest serving juvenile drug offenders in #Michigan history. A case that’s caused so much controversy highlights the 1980’s drug world of Detroit in the crack era and war on drugs. Creating sensory experience to spark conversation. Scent Profile: aromatic • coca leaf • lavender • smoked moss • rag paper • kerosene musk • wood

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What is your personal favorite artwork you have ever made?

Great question. I think the SHREDS project is my favorite collection of works. Creatings pieces for an amazing cause holds the most value for me. SHREDS ® are pieces of guns that remain after they've been voluntarily turned in through gun buy back and amnesty programs or seized from crime scenes from across America. We transform SHREDS ® into something beautiful by encasing them in solid lucite, to create a one of kind sculpture. Percentage of proceeds from each sale are donated to the CaliberFoundation® to help victims, families and communities that have been devastated by illegal gun violence.


Can you tell us more about the commercial components of your gallery?

(The scent bar, etc) I teach large corporate how to add a layer of sensory branding and experience though smell. I develop proprietary fragrance that the client owns and that i manufacture any scent related product over time. The scent lab is a gallery manufacturing space that I hold private appointment, open to the public art showings, corporate events. I like to focus on hitting all 5 senses when someone walks through the door.

What is your favorite commercial project you’ve done so far?

I created a proprietary fragrance profile for the Detroit International Auto Shows’, vip automobiliD space for the past 2 years, and curated scent throughout 60,000sqft to elevate the customer experience.

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How has the public in Detroit perceived your project?

I’m born and raised in Detroit… work, live and give back to my city. I feel like native detroiters really support me. I get a lot of love.

How long have you been operating out of Detroit? Do you find inspiration in your Surroundings?

I chose (what I think to be) one of the best spots in our city. Eastern Market, the largest historic market in the country. There is a ton of history and art culture.


If we’re not in Detroit or looking online, where else can we expect to find you later in the year / 2019?

Adding a very cool component for ArtBasel this year: The idea is to curate a unique sensory experience with scent that creates conversation. It’s simple. You step into the bubble in the “present” and with one smell... it will transport you to a memory from past or thought about the future.