December 11, 2017 Repository 211: Nº2 Scent Launch | An Homage to the Pencil Posted In: contemporary art, design, olfactory art, Uncategorized

I’m thrilled to announce the unveiling of my latest project and collaboration with artist Rory Sparks, a scent inspired by the pencil! If you are in Portland, we will have a pop up this Friday at the Working Library from 6-9 PM. It is also available for purchase online at my shop. Here’s the back story of the collaboration:

Inspired by the humble pencil, artists Rory Sparks and Catherine Haley Epstein have created an homage in scent. The scent was created with a nose in a box of Blackwing pencils, and the ideas of freedom, focus and unlimited possibilities in the head. Throughout history and to this day millions of incredible design projects start with the pencil. It’s with this guiding principal we present “No. 2” the first fine fragrance, hand-crafted and meticulously packaged in honor of the pencil.

Nothing gives one permission more than a pencil to make your mark, try something new, make a suggestion or try a new skill. An added layer to this labor of love is the idea of the collaboration – an homage to a pencil would not be complete without a reference to the fact that there were hundreds of hands on a pencil before it lands on your desk. Much like the pencil, the the natural components of the fragrance, the conversation, the bottles, the package, the paper, the label – everything has been a communal effort.

Unlike the mysterious number 5 attributed to the abstract fragrance minted by Coco Chanel in 1921, “No. 2” is an unapologetic and literal homage to the number two pencil. Yellow paint, splintered wood and metallic graphite serve as the springboards. The scent is made entirely of natural components of trees, leaves and citrus.

No. 2 pencils are related to the visual, where Catherine and Rory are trained: No. 2 pencils leave a mark dark enough to adhere to optical standards, hence being ideal for standardized testing. Any pencil harder would leave a mark too light to read.

Lastly, the duo did not create a scent to inspire an esoteric, long lost journey to a foreign land. By creating “No. 2” we are reminded to think firmly of our present materials, and to make a stand using a humble material. It is only with limitations that we soar creatively.


Rory Sparks & Catherine Haley Epstein

A super special unveiling of a pencil perfume conceived by ersatz librarian, Rory Sparks and blended by the lovely and talented, Catherine Haley Epstein. A collaboration combining a love for scents and pencils—a one of a kind homage to a favorite studio tool.

Friday, December 15, 6-9
Working Library
8836 N Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97203



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  1. Leon M Trice • December 11, 2017

    Terrific. Will stop by. Leon Reply

  2. Sam • December 11, 2017

    I love everything about this! Especially your description. It fills my heart, especially being an artist with the favorite number 2. Will it be for sale? xo-S Reply

    • Catherine Haley Epstein • December 11, 2017

      Thank you Sam!! Yes, yes and thank you for your order. I will be adding extras for you as I haven't figured out the shipping module on the online shop - yikes. I think you could help me with that one. Thank you so much!!! xoxox Reply

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