Madeleine by Amy Radcliffe

A student project puts scent-capturing in the hands of the masses


Presented at Tom Dixon’s Most fair at Milan Design Week, Madeleine is a student project from Amy Radcliffe of University of the Arts London. The simple device captures scents so they can be replicated chemically. Composed of two parts—a graduated dome and a ceramic geometric vacuum with leather straps that holds a simple glass odor trap with a filter inside it. According to Radcliffe’s instructions, one need only isolate the odor within the dome, switch Madeleine on to absorb the scent and then seal off the trap. Once that’s done, the filter can be submitted for analysis, the scent’s chemical signature decoded, and then the odor can easily be turned into a liquid fragrance.


With a device this low-tech and friendly to amateur experimentation, we can only begin to imagine the sort of work that Madeleine could inspire. Think of it as a practical, high design version of the Ghostbusters ghost trap.

Image by Josh Rubin