Other Smelly Odds and Ends

I have found interesting material in the world regarding smell collecting.  I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve found.

The Smell Collector by Matilda – Friday, March 28, 2014

This delightful child has written a jaunty little poem which I’m certain Jim Bronson would love to recreate in his laboratory.  It is not easy to read, and she recites with a quick pace, but if you zoom your browser in, you can follow along.  Matilda’s mom has left a charming message at the bottom of the pages.  Be sure not to overlook it.




Smell Collector by Zoe Alexander Love

This is a wonderfully spooky and evocative poem about a terrible ghost that comes and steals away all of the smells in a house.  Zoey does a superb job in creating a smell profile for the house and its family.  I can’t wait to send it over to Jim to analyze!

Read it on poetry.com 

I-smell / Smell Collector

This is a product or design or fiction which allows you to collect a smell with a little stick of sorts by waving it around.  Then you can save it for later by simply waving it around again.  I believe it is purely conceptual at this point, but it is a curiosity nonetheless.

“I-smell is a brand-new concept, which achieves its process of collecting and releasing smells through simple waving. With I-smell collecting and releasing smells, anytime and anywhere, as you want, you’ll not be troubled by the nostalgia of some kind of smell read more

Smell Collector – a fictive product

This is the dream right here, folks.



Sissel Tolaas – A Real Life Smell Collector

read whole story

I was breathing in the air and then I started thinking: Air cannot just be something abstract. It is out there so it must contain molecules and information. So what happens if I start to analyze the invisible?

— Sissel Tolaas, Mono.Kultur #23

She calls herself a ‘professional in-betweener’, defying all supposed logic of what smells good and what doesn’t. She turns heads and captures noses and makes you think outside the box. She has a background in chemistry and languages, with a healthy dose of art. All fields that have really helped her get to where she is today.

At the Pitti Fragranze in 2010, the Norwegian Tolaas introduced us to the concept of taking the world in from the perspective of the nose. In a society dominated by visuals, we forget to experience things in any other way. She first started focusing on areas where there wasn’t much to see but there was a lot to smell (back alleys, pot holes, sand, sewers among others)

Tolaas is a smell collector, around 6,730 in her library so far, and her inspiration? Reality. Nothing more. As she puts it; “I expose and reproduce reality.” I associate myself with her philosophy; it is important to be curious, that need to know what something smells like. She uses all kinds of tools to analyze scent, including a scent communication device to test scents outdoors.


read whole story

Another wonderful poem – The Smell Collector by Rosemary

I’m starting to think that these poems are related.  Perhaps a class assignment in a some little English school.  This writer takes a similar approach to Zoe.  There’s a terrible theft!  This child is a smell collector extraordinaire.  She speaks of the smell of rain on the glass as well as the hot concrete.  She also allows for the possibility that not all smells have a label.  Imagine that!  There could be a smell out there floating around which doesn’t have a knowable origin!



How Does Your Writing Smell? – Alex Hansen

Alex is a fellow web fiction writer with a very energetic and imaginative writing ability. He also has excellent taste in weird fiction!

Here’s a post on writing technique that contains the following:

The Smell Collector, a web serial whose protagonist is obsessively dedicated to the science of smell, exemplifies the effectiveness and power of olfactory imagery.  In his site’s header, the author writes:

The experience of smell is the closest thing we have to intimate human contact without actually having it.  A woman’s perfume, a whiff of cigarette smoke, a little bit of diesel fume, and some spearmint gum might come close to someone’s first kiss, for example.

That second sentence allows the reader to construct their own scene for that first kiss out of nothing but scents.  People tend to associate smells with their own memories and experiences and emotions.  You can put those four odors (perfume, cigarette, diesel, gum) into anybody’s brain and come up with an imagined location that can be both vivid and memory-driven.  That’s a power that’s much harder to exercise with just images and sounds.

Love it!!!