Have you heard of Norwegian scientist/artist Sissel Tolaas? Probably one of the most fascinating people I've ever read about. With a background in mathematics, chemistry and art – she is now known as one of the world's leading "scent experts" – essentially, studying the sense of smell and the power it has in our lives. Among the vast array of things she does, she "collects" scents in a huge library of over 7000 samples that she's been harvesting since 1990. She designs scents, as part of projects which investigate the relationship of smell and memory, which have been used as therapy for trauma patients. She's hired in the commercial world to help decide things like what scents work best in a hotel lobby. And she works with artists creating various scent-installations. I first learned about her in an issue of the journal mono-kultur
- where she discusses amazing topics such as - what does fear smell like? Violence? Love? Smell is so deeply provocative, and we're constantly surrounded by an "invisible architecture "of scent. And that being the case, can we understand it better to see if it offers the potential for change? Fascinating, no? Now that's what I call an interesting day job! Apparently she spoke at the Serpentine Gallery last month - saw this too late as usual - but you must keep an eye out in case she makes any other appearances around London - can't imagine it would be anything less than amazing...