When words don’t come easy/Start Making Scents

Scentology (noun) Rituals, spirituality lead by scent around us and a profound believe in its meaning and its way to give insight into life and how to live right. The path of scent. 

I have been using perfumes and scents to help me create my drawings by allowing scent to set a mood. By using scent as a portal into making drawing the relation between my visual expression and what I smell becomes clearer with each new drawing. Putting smells into language however is a completely different thing. Scent can affect us in such visceral ways- how can anyone explain one’s ‘scent-sation’ to another being? Can we come to a shared olfactive vocabulary?

To put into words all the feelings and associations we have when we smell and want to talk about it, is not an easy task. As personal as one’s scent perception is, as personal is their way of choosing phrases to capture the secnts our nose and brain process.

Artist Catherine Haley Epstein’ Odorbet is a growing vocabulary for our noses. It is through language that we change our understanding. 

Last year I was happy to contribute to the Odorbet with two olfactive words. You can read the full article plus a short biography by clicking here.


Language Changes Everything

Please enjoy a growing vocabulary for our noses. It is through language that we change our understanding. 

Internationally sourced originally by artist Catherine Haley Epstein and olfactory art historian Caro Verbeek in 2020, Odorbet is continually updated by Catherine and other generous contributors since then. Most recently Christophe Laudamiel has joined as an advisor to the project. This is a labor of love – done without committee or confusion, and informally all in the spirit of elevating the language we use for our most precious and misunderstood sense. If you are interested in contributing words or essays please contact Odorbet . Visit the Odorbet website and discover many scent descriptors.

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