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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think's Interview With John Waters Inspires a "Filthy" Fragrance

September 27, 2010, 9:00 AM

When fine fragrance perfumer Christophe Laudamiel, a recent Big Think guest, saw our video interview with filmmaker John Waters—in which Waters divulged his affection for a deadly work of contemporary art by Karen Sander that amounts to not much more than a blank canvas infested by toxic mold—Laudamiel says he was moved to create an exclusive scent for the self-proclaimed "Pope of Filth." 

Though Laudamiel has composed a scent opera, created the fragrance of a virgin and devised the scent of fear, he says he's never attempted to make a scent that one might describe as gross—until now. The appeal of the "filthy fragrance" he hopes to make for Waters, lies not in its stink, but in its exaltation of ingredients that have been frowned upon by the fine fragrance industry. 

"I would not go as far as saying that it would be toxic, but something impossible at the day of today to sell on the market," Laudamiel wrote in an email to Big Think. "Full of real natural rose oil—yes natural rose oil is in an aberration; we can use only very little in commercial fragrances because of the excessive safety rules that the industry imposes, oak moss, and an overdose of some molecules that are also limited, like safranal, the main component in Saffron."

Check out our recent interviews with Christophe Laudamiel and John Waters below:


Big Think's Interview With ...

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