Scent of Mystery (1960)


A theatrical revival of the original stinker: ‘Scent of Mystery’ (1960), a star studded Hollywood feature film written for smell. So far this scented special event presented in Glorious Smell-O-Vision! has featured at the  National Media Museum  in The UK, for the Danish Film Institute and for the Turner Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

World premiere 1960. Photo courtesy of Art Shay

For more information  watch this five minute trailer  (photographs by Art Shay ):   Password:  500waves

and read this article from the BBC: The Movie You Can Smell

Scents by Saskia Wilson-Brown

The presentation features 20 smells that run concurrently with the film, such as ‘exotic scent of Spain’, ‘running of the bulls’, ‘ancient mosque’ and the sea.

John Foley dresses Bel in Hollywood

There are live actors, audience participation and an automated scent delivery system.

Neal Harris wrangling scents at the Cinerama Dome

Directed by legendary Jack Cardiff and set on location in Spain, Scent of Mystery, THE original Smell-O-Vision movie features an all-star cast including Leo McKern, Peter Lorre, Denholm Elliott and Diana Dors, with a special guest appearance by Elizabeth Taylor.


The first and only film to be written for smell and to boast a sophisticated automated scent track, the plot revolves around the pursuit of a scented ‘Mystery Girl’ and her would-be assassin, finally exposed by the pipe tobacco he favours.

Denholm Elliot and Elizabeth Taylor

Now revived and resuscitated by an international team of scent and cinema maestros, including Saskia Wilson-Brown of the Institute for Art and Olfaction , Neal Harris of ScentEvents, perfumier Antonio Gardoni in Milan, Costumier John Foley in London,  Tammy Burnstock in Sydney Australia, along with Mr Cinerama himself, Dave Strohmaier.

Scent of Mystery Event for the Turner Classic Film Festival