Urban smell enthusiasts
Image by Tim Enthoven © New York Times 2014
As the weather has warmed up and those smell molecules are bouncing around and increasingly tickling our trigeminal nerves, stimulating our olfactory receptors, and on occasion, kicking-in our gag response mechanisms, I thought it only fair to try and highlight some of the more positive roles that smells can play in our experiences, perceptions and knowledge of cities.
Read my resulting article in the New York Times (24 June) also available online here, and including reference to Kate McLean’s smellmap of New York’s smelliest block, below.
New York’s Smelliest Blocks © Kate McLean 2011
I also wrote a longer description including more science of smellscape experience in a recent article for the New Scientist (7 June) available here, and drawing from my experiences of Istanbul’s Grand Bazarre back in April, gained whilst leading a smellwalk with a local academic colleague as part of a student field class.
One of my students, a Chinese national, reported how she did not like the feel of the walk from the Grand Bazaar down to the Spice Market; “There are too many people” she said “it is just like being back in China!” For me, it was amazing experience: varied, rich and strong smells all adding to the overall feel of this amazing city.
The walk from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to the Spice Market