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Building an analog 'camera' to capture the smell of life

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Though we can easily record thousands of images and hours of audio just to remember a single moment in time, the memory of a moment's scent — be it the smell of a spring day, or the remnants of a campfire — is still lost forever. Designer Amy Radcliffe wants to change that, and she's built a prototype device that could become an analog "camera" for capturing odors. It's called the Madeleine, and it looks like a cross between a jewelry box and a sci-fi contraption, complete with alien-like cords wrapping around it. It might not work perfectly, but it's one of many attempts over the past several decades to begin recording scents just as we do visuals and sounds. The Atlantic spoke with Radcliffe about the Madeleine's development, and has more on the history of preserving our still-ephemeral experience of smells.