The Perfume Concert of Sadakichi Hartmann

Nov 30, 1902: Sadakichi Hartmann gave the world's first "perfume concert" at the New York Theatre. It was meant to be a journey around the world via scents. Hartmann recited a travel monologue as fans blew scents toward the audience.

Sadakichi started out to be the personal conductor of a tour to Japan. The audience was expected to smell its way. To this end, two contrivances which looked like ovens to an abandoned gasoline stove were brought on the stage. In the ovens were placed pad-like layers saturated with various perfumes. Fans operated by electricity wafted the odors to an audience made up of actor ladies and ladies of other professions, accompanied by "gents" conspicuous for white vests and Tuxedos with "shiny" satin collars.

The problem was that in the early 1900s people freely smoked in theaters. So no one beyond the first few rows could smell anything except cigar smoke. The audience soon left, en masse.

Wikipedia article about Sadakichi Hartmann.

New York Evening World - Dec 1, 1902

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 15, 2023
     Category: Theater and Stage | 1900s | Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

So, you just tell them not to smoke for these paltry ninety minutes or so?

Ah, no. Smokers. That would never have worked.
Posted by Richard Bos on 04/15/23 at 11:14 AM
Just go 120 years into the future and plan the show for 2023. Make it a demo of a new ventilation system. People will go wild.
Posted by Yudith on 04/16/23 at 06:30 AM
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