In an interview on the Fifth Sense website, Har’el said that the experience Clemons’ character is buying in the store is inspired by synesthesia – a condition where one sense is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses. It allows some people, for example, to experience sounds and scents as images.
“It’s the idea that certain scents can evoke images, and that our senses cross paths,” said Har’el. “My friend Dexter didn’t know she had it but told me one night over dinner that she always experienced the words ‘white house’ as a cake she can taste and seen days of the week as a circle suspended in the air. When I told her about the condition suddenly everything made sense to her; it’s a really dope condition, your senses take creative license with reality.”
The visually sensual story powerfully intertwines scent and memory, with Bonet’s shopkeep (in a “Women Smell Better” t-shirt), serving as a guide, telling the girl that “the path to remembering who you are goes through your nose.”
Musician Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes) collaborated with Emile Haynie for the first time on JellyWolf’s opening track. The film’s main music is 'Ha Howa Ha Howa' by Sexwitch (a Natasha Khan and Toy collaboration).
Director Har’el has been lauded for her genre re-defining work that melds documentary and fiction. She picked up the top prize at Tribeca Film Festival for 2011’s Bombay Beach, as well as premiered her critically acclaimed latest feature LoveTrue, in 2016 to rapt audiences with longtime collaborator Shia LaBeouf as executive producer.