British artist Jammie Nicholas used his own faeces as the raw material for a perfume he calls “Surplus“. Believe it or nor, he has already sold 25 bottles of it, for $65 a pop.
In an interview with Viceland.com, Nicholas says he got the idea of producing his special perfume after reading “The History of Shit”, by Dominique Laporte, which “which analyses the theoretical and social implications of faeces, and its role as a building material for cosmetics. It suggested that pleasant smells were used to cover bad smells, so it could be suggested that a bad smell could be used to cover pleasant smells”. After doing some research and talking to a bunch of perfumers and scientists, he learned there are molecules that are common to both good and bad smells, just in different concentrations. For example, both faeces and white flowers like juniper or orange blossoms are made from the molecule Skatol. He also found out that many food companies use stuff like civet, an emulation of the anal secretions of the civet cat, and ambergis, which mimics a sperm whale’s gallstone.
Asked about the actual production process of his faeces perfume, Jammie says it all happened in his flat, where he worked with all the windows open and using nose plugs. It took him only a week to extract the “essential oils” from the excrements, then spent a lot longer setting up his distillation device and mixing the crazy concoction. He made a total of 85 bottles of 60 ml, and somehow managed to actually sell 25 of them.
Although the artist himself admits he has only used his Surplus perfume at private events, others who have tried it claim it actually smells pretty good. Well, it is eau de toilet(te)…