Category Archives: Smellscapes

From Paris, With Smell

The first telegraph sent across the Atlantic, on 16 August, 1858, read: “Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men.” The contents of the first transatlantic telephone call, placed by AT&T President Walter S. Gifford on 7 January, 1927, were more mundane: a report the next day in The […]

Bloody Nose

As most readers of Edible Geography will know, smell makes up to ninety percent of what we perceive as flavour, primarily through a process known as retronasal olfaction, in which odour molecules travel from the mouth to the nose via the throat as we eat. In other words, we use our noses to smell food […]

Sensory Maps

IMAGE: Smell Edinburgh by Kate McLean (view larger) Victoria Henshaw, whose own urban smell research formed the subject of my last post, recently introduced me to Edinburgh-based designer Kate McLean’s Sensory Maps series. Since moving to the city two years ago, McLean has spent hours exploring it on foot and noting down both her own […]

Smell-designing Sheffield

IMAGE: Victoria Henshaw’s Sheffield smell walk, mapped. Regular Edible Geography readers will know that smellscapes are a recurring subplot of this blog — a diversion that I justify on the basis that roughly ninety percent of what we perceive as taste is actually smell. For the most part, the built environment consists of accidental and […]

You Are Here

IMAGE: Artist Liz Hickok is gelatin-mapping Manhattan’s skyline for “You Are Here.” Katherine Harmon loves maps, and is the author of two gorgeous books that collect unexpected and idiosyncratic applications of the cartographer’s craft — You Are Here and The Map As Art. She has spent a lot of time considering the appeal of maps, […]

Talking Nose

Artist Sissel Tolaas was one of the people I most wanted to speak at Postopolis! DF, having seen her discussing smell as design in New York earlier this year. Although she was not able to join us in person, she generously allowed me to screen her olfactory investigation of Mexico City, Talking Nose — which was also the first time the video and soundtrack had been seen and heard in the place where it was made.

Ginger Biscuits and Deodorant Guns

IMAGE: A unintentional theme from the Headspace: Scent As Design conference – at least three different speakers used this random archival photo in their presentations. In his book The Emperor of Scent, Chandler Burr describes the case of Janet Rippard, “a former nurse living in rather a remote part of Scotland.” Rippard was suffering from […]