Diary of Smells

This site documents Diary of Smells, an on-going, multi-sensorial project by Josely Carvalho in which she directly uses natural and artificial scents as protagonists among other typically dominant visual and sound components in her installations.

Featured image

Estilhaços/Shards presence at the Feira de Arte Impressa Tijuana, August 2015


Tracajá na Feira de Arte Impressa do Tijuana / 8 e 9 de agôsto, 2015

TRACAJÁ estará na Feira de Arte Impressa do Tijuana nos dias 8 e 9 de agôsto. Estarei com ela mostrando o meu livro olfativo Estilhaços/Shards. Faremos juntas uma oficina de cheiros, memórias, estórias. Juntas vamos promover o olfato tantas vezes esquecido ou mesmo repelido. Vamos cheirar com persistência o prazer, a ilusão, a ausência, o afeto e mesmo o vazio. Talvez podemos construir outros cheiros através do seu olfato.



Shards, a video projection


The video is projected on the glass panel broken during the manifestations inR io de Janeiro of 2013.

detail broken glass during manifestations in Rio de Janeiro, 2013

detail broken glass during manifestations in Rio de Janeiro, 2013

Estilhaços / Shards, an installation in process

detalhe taças de vidro

detalhe taças de vidro


Three hundred broken glasses, video, sound and smells construct the site specific installation in process.

The stories, written in the form of poetry, chronicle and haikai, are also used as the basis for the sound manipulation that the artist in collaboration with the engineer and composer Paul Geluso, to be produced at Harvestworks, New York.

The production and dispersion of the smells have the technical support of Givaudan do Brasil.

mock up installation

mock up installation


Diary of Smells: Shards, an olfactory artist’s book

I collect broken glasses

I document the incident photographically

I look for invisible meanings in the remains

In the smell impressed in the shards, a memory of a forgotten instant



Diary of Smells: Shards (Estilhaços) is a work in progress organized by a visual/sound/olfactory installation and an olfactory artist’s book.

From the shards of broken wine glasses emerges a memory smell of a forgotten moment.  The smells are reconstructed from texts written by invited writers and produced with the collaboration of Givaudan do Brasil, a leading fragrances and flavor company. Seven photographs place the glasses and their smells in imaginary landscapes where the scents of a lost love, of an encounter, an absence can perhaps be detected.


 1st prototype

Olfactory Artist’s Book

An edition of 130 olfactory artist’s book, the book contains seven photographs printed as postal cards; six numbered fragrances presented in small flasks; six memory/smell texts. The original smells are: Affection; Emptiness; Absence; Persistence; Pleasure; Illusion.

The bookbinding takes the shape of a box wrapped in handmade paper produced by Prof. Thérèse Hoffman Gatti, at the National University of Brasilia.  The paper is made up of recycled cellulose of cigarette butts & banana leaves and uses nanotechnology to insert its fibers,  the fragrance “Glass” created by French perfumer Nadège Le Garlantezec.


inside book_estilhacos

Collaborators do Project

The project is a collaboration among artist, guest writers, Givaudan do Brasil and the National University of Brasilia. Among the writers are: Laura Abreu (curator, National Museum of Fine Arts, Rio de Janeiro); Mary Garcia Castro, PHD (Poet and Professor of Sociology at the Federal University of Bahia); Avis Lang (writer and editor of Museum of National History, New York), Josely Carvalho (artist), Dr. Jeff Koán MD (independent curator).

An act of smell


Diary of Smells: Shards

Diary of Smells: Shards (Estilhaços) is an olfactory book-art and an installation in progress.  From the shards of broken wine glasses emerged a memory smell of a forgotten moment.

The first installation of the project Shards/Lab,  was presented as a Smell/Laboratory on November 2013 at ARTSCI Gallery at UCLA. Image

New York through the Nose

Through the Nose is a series of site-specific walks in different surroundings, neighborhoods and cities. Each walk is unique in its format and its participants. The sense of smell is the nucleus of the individual and collective sensorial experience, linking odors to memories and emotions that may identify place. The video New York Through the Nose is a compilation of three walks in New York City. Beginning in Times Square, participants rode the subway Line 7 to its final stop at Main St/Flushing, Queens. It was presented by Elastic City, New York (www.elastic-city.org)

The video New York through the Nose can be seen at


Teaching the Art of Smell on a Tour

Teaching the Art of Smell on a Tour – Artlog
These are the smells of Josely Carvalho’s 7 Through the Nose walk with Todd Shalom’s Elastic City. The artist-led walk expands upon the Carvalho’s work