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Jaimie Baron on the ‘Orchestration’ of Scent

March 11, 2022

For those interested in expanding their perceptual experience, Living with Scents, guest curated by Elisabetta Pisu and Clara Muller for the Museum of Craft and Design, should not be missed.

Of the five senses that give us information about our world, smell is the one most people contemplate least. Yet, it is so fundamental to how we respond to our environment that the prospect of anosmia – losing one’s sense of smell, frequently associated with COVID-19 – is a deeply unnerving prospect.  (And, as the curators note, it has been linked to profound feelings of isolation and not being fully alive.) We are always smelling, every time we inhale, yet we have an extremely limited vocabulary for scent, which makes it difficult to talk or write about. In A History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman writes, “Smells are our dearest kin, but we cannot remember their names.”

Read more of Baron’s article for Square Cylinder here.

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