RECOMMENDED AGE LEVEL
Recommended for ages 4 and up with adult supervision.
Living with Scents explores olfactory design and suggests ways that fragrances can play a larger role in our lives. Emerging Objects’ 3D printed coffee pot releases coffee bean scents, Carlas Bengston’s perfumes mimic the pheromones of lizards and bees, and Lizzie Ostrom’s Ode reminds Alzheimer’s patients to eat with fragrant food fumes.
This project invites participants to integrate scent into their own artwork while revisiting the scratch-and-sniff stickers popular in the 1970s and 80s.
- For each paint color/scent:
- ¾ teaspoon Jell-O powder
- 1 tablespoon of white, liquid glue
- 1 teaspoon of water
- Small bowl or cup
- Pour one teaspoon of water into each bowl.
- Pour one tablespoon of glue into each bowl.
- Add ¾ teaspoon of Jell-O powder to each bowl.
- Use the paintbrush or a spoon to thoroughly mix ingredients.
- Use the crayon to draw the outline of your design onto the cardstock. The crayon lines will help the paint stay in place.
- TIP: If using a white crayon, hold the cardstock up to the light to see the crayon lines.
- Use the paintbrush to paint within the crayon lines.
- Clean the brush with water between colors.
- Let dry completely (1-3 days)
- Revisit your artwork and scratch-and-sniff the paint!
CREATIVE PROMPTS FOR MORE
- Test a nose! Ask a friend or family member to smell your painting when dry. Can they guess each color’s scent correctly?
- Turn the project into a card! Living with Scents explores how certain fragrances can remind us of others and how sharing scents can make us feel more connected to each other. Write a message on the other side of the cardstock and give it to a loved one!
- Living with Scents featured olfactory artist, Peter de Cupere created a series of Scratch & Sniff Oil paintings. Read more about the series and learn about olfactory design in MCD’s Living with Scents Virtual Speaker Series featuring Peter de Cupere, Lizzie Ostrom, Clara Muller, and Dr. Danielle Reed.
- From stickers to t-shirts – learn about the history of Scratch-and-Sniff commodities in Caity Weaver’s New York Times’s article What in the World is a $590 Scratch-and-Sniff T-shirt Doing in 2020?