A European laboratory where clients' fondest memories are processed and preserved as specimens. Iris slices off her ring finger while working at a soft-drink factory. This distressing incident prompts her to quit her job. She then moves to a nearby port town, where she takes a position as a laboratory assistant for a tightly wound curator. His peculiar line of business involves preserving personal belongings that recall specific memories for his clients: a lock of hair, for example, or a piece of music. Iris drifts into an increasingly fetishistic relationship with her boss while also pining for an ethereal, enigmatic sailor who shares her hotel room during the hours she is at work.