Follow your nose

“When your legs are tired, walk with your heart”, Paulo Coelho.

And follow your senses.

Have you ever thought about the smell of your city? Years ago I did a research interviewing the inhabitants of the city of Milan and the first answer to this question was “I do not smell anything …”. Anosmia of the city or just sleeping senses? However when I asked them to spend a day en plein air, paying attention to the olfactory stimuli perceived during the day, their answers often turned into detailed olfactory landscapes.

Marta Siembab ( has brought this theme to Esxence to remind us the importance of the sense of smell, not only from an artistic and commercial point of view, but emotional one. There are artists, designers and researchers who chose to focus on smell to describe a place starting from the human perception of an ephemeral sense that is able to arouse emotions and memories like no one else. 

Kate McLean ( creates sensory smellmaps by interviewing and involving residents in her smellwalks, and by turning emotions into graphics and words. A precious work that stimulates an easily forgotten sense and that requires the participation of people, the debate and the relationship.

Try to remember a place, a space, a moment, in which smells played a fundamental role in creating an unforgettable experience. And if you are traveling, try to bring olfactory souvenirs with you, note down the feelings that arouse in you, the smells and scents encountered.

Watch the video of the workshop held at Esxence by Marta Siembab, follow the instructions to create your olfactory map and above all … follow your nose!

Here is the link to the video: