Guest blogger: Lou-lou

Monday, 6 September 2010

I am really interested in the way smells can evoke memories. The first book I read about smells and memory was 'Swann's Way' by Marcel Proust, where the scent of a Madelaine cake reminds him beautifully of his early days.

Last year I was doing a research project on this topic and luckily many olfactory artists were happy to share their experiments with me. Maki Ueda, was one of them.

She extracts odours from all sorts of natural ingredients for exhibitions and her artistic practice, and runs workshps of perfume making.

We talked about her exhibition of memory evoking smells that was on in the Netherlands. This aromatic journey was all about Maki's memory of Japan, with odours of miso soup, cherry blossoms, and cedarwood. Each of these bottles contains some of these scents/memories.
I guess we all have some similar experience with our unique olfactory senses. What are your scent memories?

Images: Madelaine cake, other images Maki Ueda.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Love this post.

The perfume Tea Rose reminds me of my mom. Not that she wears it any longer but she did when I was little.
I grew up in a suburb of New Orleans and often people would burn their leaves after raking them into a pile - seems like an odd practice now to me - but every once in a while, I'll smell it and that reminds me of growing up, too. It actually smells good - like Fall.