The Stories Behind the Scents - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

The Stories Behind the Scents

Explore your senses with an evening of niche fragrances and perfumery at Chicago’s oldest apothecary.

Introduce yourself to the modern world of niche perfumery, a revered and ancient art form that likely plays a bigger role in your everyday life than you might think.

Join Atlas Obscura for an olfactory-focused evening curated by the fragrance experts at Merz Apothecary, where you'll explore a variety of “sensory stories” and the distinct poetry of perfume. Experience fragrances like those of self taught master perfumer Andy Tauer and take part in a blind fragrance test to see what your preferences are. (The results might be surprising.)

Created by a select roster of independent and international perfume makers, the fragrances you'll be introduced to go beyond traditional or gendered scent categories. Think: smells of the sea trade, a desert town in Texas, and unexpected ingredients like Costus root and ambergris. This unique event is designed to be educational, fun, and focused on the joy and discovery of scent. Cocktails and healthy snacks will be provided, and all participants will go home with a curated bag of samples. 


  • Participants will receive a 10 percent discount on any purchases made the evening of the event.
  • There is street parking along Lincoln Avenue and a pay parking lot at North Lincoln and West Leland avenues.
  • The Western Brown Line station is one block away, and the #49 Western Avenue bus stops at Leland Avenue.
  • The event is ADA accessible. 
  • This ticket is not refundable, but you can transfer it to someone else by using this handy Eventbrite tutorial. 


Email Bonnie Tawse at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.