When you are away from home, the first thing I start missing is home-made food, traditional dishes, specially the smell of your house and your childhood when you mum was cooking something sweet and delicious. This smell brings me back home, I can associate it and recognise it. This time in China, I started again to miss this familiar smell, so far away from your usual smells you start realising and giving importance again to your olfactory sense, your nose memories. It might sound obvious but it is important how a place that doesn’t smell nicely, comfortable, its more difficult to give any confidence.
In Shenzhen summer has already arrived since a couple of weeks ago, the weather is tremendous hot, 90% humidity most of the days, it’s a tropical weather and smells are more easily spread in the atmosphere.
I noticed that you have to be more carefull with food as it gets easily rotten, Shenzhen bay smells stronger and human beings transpire night and day, I would not sniff around if you do not want to get surprises!
Since I am writing about smells, the other day I found an original community of people whose jobs and passions are related to the olfactory world, it’s called Olfactory Art.
There I found an interesting article regards Sissel Tolaas, a professional nose, an odor artist that is doing an interesting olfactory art work Fear 9. For another experiment, she asked volunteers to smell two jars filled with the same relatively neutral air. Proving that verbal expectations can create olfactory illusions, they consistently reported preferring the jar labeled “cheddar” over the one labelled “body odour,” regardless of the sampled air smelled of neither. Sissel is building a library of 6,763 scents, including dirt, toys, and rotten bananas, in the article she says that her aim isn’t to shock or repulse, but to re-educate our noses and enhance our ability to express what we sense with them.
Also very interesting I found this video regards scent design created by Parson New School for Design, a recompilation of videos of a symposium about how design and olfactory sense are related in transdisciplinary ways such as architecture, food design and other design disciplines. It’s worth to watch all 5 videos, find a bite of the talks down here…
How different can a flower smell coming from different places? To extract the sense, the flowers life to make it immortal and be able to carry this smell anywhere in the world, it’s an interesting experience that perfumers are creating for us mortals.
When you smell something beautiful it makes you smile…lets sniff around!