The Nose Knows…Or does it?

Full disclosure, when I first heard about this exhibit of smells and how periods of history can have a smell, I did a bit of an eye roll.

This was hands down the oddest exhibit I’ve experienced. Norwegian born artist, Sissel Tolaas, has been collecting smell molecules for over thirty years. She literally travels with a device that captures the molecules. Then, using her chemistry training, she replicates them from her library of over 4,000 compounds.

I always thought I had a keen snout, but honestly many odors for me were faint and sometimes I felt like I was smelling the same thing throughout the exhibit. But from what my blind comrades told me, I lucked out. For them, some smells were downright sickening.

One thing that was nice – no one had to read any title cards for me – there were none!

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Lisa Bryant

Freelance Journalist

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