Monday, December 05, 2016

Artist Captures The Smell of 35 Cities

Norwegian olfactory artist Sissel Tolaas's project SmellScapes documents the diverse odours that make cities distinct. Over the course of a decade she’s collected more than 7,000 scents and recreated the smells of 35 cities.
Mexico City, for instance, commissioned her to help residents understand pollution via their noses, resulting in over 200 neighbourhood visits and a scratch-and-sniff map of the capital.
“The goal was reproducing the smell of pollution—the car exhaust, the refrigerator, the air conditioner…"
She identifies a smell that seems to be a part of a city’s smellscape and finds the source of it. She extracts the odor molecules using a machine supplied by International Flavors & Fragrances Inc who also help her identify the key molecules, and Tolaas makes a synthetic replicate of the smell.

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