Smellmap: Paris

The beginning of my smellscape mapping artworks commenced with an exploratory piece investigating the connections between places, smells and emotions. My prediction that smells of Paris would evoke smells of other cities worldwide was overturned by the sensitive, nuanced, everyday ‘smell note’ written responses from the audience.

Broad findings revealed: coffee smells incite people tell a story, a whiff of perfume encourages people to mention other people, wine is most likely to make people recall an event they attended. Locations might be very specific (Grandma’s front room) or general (it’s a railway station). The scale of emotion varies and is hard to measure.

The visiting audience of about 300 people over one week were invited to:
  • SMELL a scent from any of the bottles
  • RECALL what it reminds you of
  • WRITE the place and/or feeling you associate with the smell
  • STICK your notes on the board near to the bottle of scent
Research undertaken during 2009-2010 and exhibited at Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2011 in a plan chest.
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Date: 2010
Media & size: Card, markers, kitchen-made smell replicas, perfume bottles, sticky notes 1682 x 2378 mm AND Paris Smell Postcards poster (for sale in shop) 1189 x 841 mm
Exhibited: Edinburgh College of Art Recruitment Fair, 2010