Hongi is the name of the traditional form of greeting among the Māori tribe in New Zealand: Two people press noses to each other and inhale one another’s breath. Due to the current coronavirus outbreak it has recently been banned.
“Face-to-face interaction penetrates in a gaseous form into our most intimate inner being. The current Coronavirus outbreak surfaces a forgotten concept of communication that is deeply ingrained in culture: Face-to-face communication is a miasmic intercourse.”
– CLAUS NOPPENEY
“The focus on smell in design does not mean the addition of applied scent to all aspects of the design, but rather the awareness of smell as an inherent dimension of it … This awareness may lead to the realization that the appropriate solution is the removal or masking of a smell…The negotiation of odorizing and deodorizing is a skillset that should be part of every designer’s toolbox, as that awareness in itself is increasingly an important factor in the success or failure of design.” – ASHRAF OSMAN, CLAUS NOPPENEY & NADA ENDRISSAT
Hornbach is a Geman DIY store chain offering home improvement and do-it-yourself goods. “The scent of spring” is the title of its most recent brand campaign:
“It is said that ‘we are what we eat’—but it is also true that we are what we smell like: fragrant or foul, good or bad.” – Antony Synnott
Portraiture is known as a visual art genre. Yet, working with body odors has given rise to artistic works that explore new sensory territories. A lecture with Claus Noppeney at Columbia College in Chicago discussed this development: Can a smell represent a person? How is an olfactory portrait experienced in an art space? How relevant is the process? …
“B. O.” is the indispensable Other of the perfume and fragrance industry, despised and feared at the same time; to be eradicated, yet its raison d’etre.” – HANS RINDISBACHER
Human body odors can transfer anxiety-related signals. This is a well documented fact. Yet, it is an open question how these signals impact in real-life situations.
“Perfume plays a social role in that it effects a unique synthesis of individual egoistical and social purposes in the field of the sense of smell.” – GEORG SIMMEL
There are different ways how to address smell in advertizing. Campaigns in perfumery are an obvious case. Moreover, we recently discussed how even negative feedback on the olfactory quality of a product is used in advertizing. The example of today stands out in a different way.
“The odor is a natural sign of the self as both a physical and a moral being. The odor is a symbol of the self.” – ANTONY SYNNOTT
This iconic narrative from the Judeo-Christian tradition is full of olfactory references that are topical today:
“Americans and Arabs live in different sensory worlds much of the time and do not use the same senses even to establish most of the distances maintained during conversations.” – EDWARD HALL