Smelly cinema plan not to be sniffed at


By Rory Reynolds

MOVIE buffs are looking forward to a special outdoor, big-screen showing of the Scots classic Gregory’s Girl at the Edinburgh Festival – but this is one airing they won’t forget.

Every movie-goer will be given a scratch ‘n sniff card for the screening – scented with sweaty socks and teenage aftershave.

Wacky festival organisers sniffed out a good deal when they hired daft duo Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, both 26, to add to the proceedings.

And they’ve got just the nose for success. Their oddball antics have landed them top clients such as designer department store Selfridges, posh superfood Innocent, and even University College London.

And Bompas and Parr have even made ‘fine English jellies’ for top chef Heston Blumenthal’s telly hit Victorian Feast.
But Sam reckons the Edinburgh Festival’s open air showing of Gregory’s Girl is the perfect place to try out their new olfactory madness.

He said: “Gregory’s Girl is just the best film for this – it’s got some great smells. I want to keep some secret until the night but it’s got changing rooms, perfume, and fish and chip shops.

“You can basically make anything into a principle scent. We try to engage people in a lot of different scents and we try to give people a total sensory experience, but it’s good to do it away from the dinner table.

“We don’t want people to have to pay £200 or something; we want to make it as accessible as possible. Cinema is great for this.”

The idea has been tried by others before, but instead of using the scratch ‘n sniff cards, gases were pumped into the cinema, leaving the audience in a thick haze of different smells.

Sam added: “It’s very easy to get smells into the cinema, very difficult to get them out – so the scratch cards are perfect.

“Without some way to clear the previous smell you’d just end up with a strange cocktail of smelly sock, cut grass and perfume hovering over the square.”

Earlier this year, the bonkers businessmen tried their idea out at a small screening of Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, where they used bloody kitchens and rotting meat to treat the audience to a stomach-churning experience.
The self-styled ‘jellymongers’ – who say that they ‘operate in the space between food and architecture’ – have also spent the weekend dishing out aphrodisiac marshmallows in the centre of Edinburgh.

Gregory’s Girl will be screened on July 26 in Festival Square in Edinburgh.


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