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

by Josely Carvalho

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).