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What does the past smell like? How can we use the sense of scent to unlock memories and enrich our experience of history? An interactive series of short talks and panel discussion with leading olfactory innovators. Lizzie Ostrom aka Odette Toilette (author of Perfume: A Century of Scent, Tasha Marks (AVM Curiosities artist/scent historian) and Cecilia Bembibre (UCL researcher) will share their insights into using scent in reminiscence, heritage interpretation and galleries. Whether you’re an artist, gallery and museums professional, creative educator or simply interested in the power of smell, join us for a scented discussion.

Lizzie Ostrom will invite you to sniff some unusual, evocative materials. Through doing this, find out how museums and cultural institutions can tell both collective and personal stories about scent.

Cecilia Bembibre will offer an overview of the Smell of Heritage project, which looks at odours with cultural value and has developed a framework to identify, analyse and document them. Guided by the smells of a historic book and a pot pourri from 1750, explore questions related to odour perception and consider ways to approach our olfactory heritage.

Food and scent historian and artist Tasha Marks will share case studies from her varied creative practice, AVM Curiosities. Including sharing information on her most recent scented installation at Wellcome, using the smell of breast milk.

The event and panel discussion will be hosted by Nikki Shaill. There will also be the opportunity to view The Barking Stink’s animated films after the event, part of Thames Festival Trust’s own scented heritage project.

Cecilia Bembibre (Smell of Heritage, UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage)Are some smells part of cultural heritage? How do we engage the nose when visiting a heritage space? And how can the information we receive through smells affect the way we engage with collections and historic spaces? Cecilia offers an overview of the Smell of Heritage project, which looks at odours with cultural value and has developed a framework to identify, analyse and document them. Guided by the smells of a historic book and a pot pourri from 1750, explore questions related to odour perception and consider ways to approach our olfactory heritage.

Lizzie Ostrom aka Odette Toiletteis a producer, event organiser and writer, specialising in all things smell. She has hosted live events for many museums around the country and co-curated Somerset House's 2017 exhibition Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent. Lizzie was one of the team responsible for smell in Tate Sensorium, winner of Design Week's exhibition design of the year. She's interested in how we can use the sense of smell in care settings, and was one of the team behind ode, a project using recreated food aromas to help promote appetite for people living with dementia. She's collaborated with Museums at Night on a free online resource of using smell in museum settings. Lizzie is the author of Perfume: A Century of Scents, a cultural history of fragrance through the 20th century.

Lizzie will invite you to sniff some unusual, evocative materials. Through doing this, find out how museums and cultural institutions can tell both collective and personal stories about scent.

Tasha Marksis an award-winning food historian and artist, who explores the relationship between art and the senses. Her practice, AVM Curiosities, champions the use of taste and scent as artistic mediums, with projects ranging from museum exhibitions and sculptural installations, to interactive lectures and limited-edition confectionery. Recent projects include films produced with the British Museum and a series of scented installations at the Royal Academy of Arts. As part of the Wellcome Collection's new Being Human exhibition, Tasha Marks has created 5318008 - the first scented sculpture in any major museum's permanent collection.

The Barking Stink is a new heritage project by Thames Festival Trust, a scented history created to explore Barking Creek’s rich industrial past. Focusing on historical smells, from fragrant fisheries to noxious factory fumes, The Barking Stink project will engage children and young people in the heritage of where they live, via animated films, a pop-up exhibition, talks, walks and workshops.

Image © Tasha Marks