scents in the city: 2 posts

Scents of Cities : Poll

A wonderful thing about blogging is that it allows me to meet people from different countries and places. I have become friends with perfume lovers in Japan, Nigeria, New Zealand, and South Africa, to name only a few places I haven’t yet visited. Some of you also live in small towns in the US and you’ve shared your recollections of their own unique scents.  I wish I could visit them all!  We would walk around the streets, spot the blooming plants, pick up pine cones and notice that the diner across the street smells richly and pungently of frying bacon.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran a poll about bottling the scents of your city, and the responses were so moving and fascinating that I thought that it would be fun to compile them into a post. So, let’s create a scented map and describe the places where we live in terms of their smells. If you haven’t participated yet, you can leave a comment here or email me your responses at editor at boisdejasmin dot com.  I will then put together a post with your comments. Don’t worry about duplicating the cities–my New York or San Francisco might smell very differently from yours. Also, don’t shy away from including the less savory smells. The sour run offs from the fishmongers in Chinatown may not be pleasant on a hot summer day, but they are a part of the city’s olfactive profile.

Spring in Kiev, photography by Bois de Jasmin, all rights reserved

My internet connection is intermittent this weekend, so I may be a bit late in responding to the comments.

Elastic City New York Scented Walk

If you will be in New York this month, you might  want to explore the scented walk organized by Elastic City in collaboration with the Brazilian artist Josely Carvalho. Elastic City is an organization that works with various artists around the world to make the audience “active participants in an ongoing poetic exchange with the places we live in and visit.” On July 10th, 12th and 14th, Elastic City will hold walks titled “7 Through the Nose.”

Carvalho’s Diary of Smells is her most recent project, and “the participants will explore their own senses of smell and its powerful relationship to memory and emotion. Starting in Times Square, taking the subway and then sniffing through Flushing, the group will identify synthetic smells (i.e. smells created to entice sales: such as french fries and store-specific fragrances) and existing natural urban smells, (i.e.sweat, herbs, fish, bread and urine). Via memory, metaphor and association, Josely will work with each participant to record smells in individual and collective scent journals; an evanescent geography of odors.”

Each walk holds 12 people. The fee for 2h walk is $20, but Bois de Jasmin readers will  get a discount with the code is TWENTYTWENTY, for 20% off walk admission. For more information and times available, please visit Elastic City website. Also, the organization holds walks in different cities, including San Francisco, Detroit, Berlin and Paris.

Image: Yellow Cabs on Fifth Avenue by Bois de Jasmin.

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