Allegory Gallery Blog

Common Scents Workshop with Elise Wells

Allegory Gallery will host the ”Common Scents Workshop” with Elise Wells on Sunday, August 5th. Spaces will be very limited, and all money collected for the seats will be donated to a Veteran’s chartity (more details to come).

We will open up the purchase link once all details are solidified. Please stay tuned to THIS EVENTS PAGE for details!

Common Scents Workshop Information

Scents used: Sulfur water, rust water, chestnut honey, diesel, sand, burnt carbon, burnt sugar, pine resin, saffron, leather, saddle polish, pheromone, sawdust, brandy, and sage tea.

Path to memory: This workshop will be an exploration of how scent is directly related to memory, association, and feeling.

The introduction of this one and a half hour course will be to show images and literature excerpts concerning “scent memories”.

Participants will then be invited to take slow turns sampling each unmarked scent individually. Participants will have cotton rag paper in front of them and will be invited to write a word or draw a symbol for each experience of each scent. These written and drawn automatic responses will then be layered on a single page. The second half of the workshop will be spent sharing these associations and scent memories with each other, followed by discussions and questions. Smell reveals much subconscious knowledge and feeling. Participants are able to take the print/artwork/writing home with them.

About Elise and Background: I became interested in primal instinctual sensual/protection tools while deployed to Iraq. There we had the most highly advanced technology and weapons systems in the world and yet I was fascinated that we were still using bomb dogs to sniff out Improvised Explosive Devices. From there I researched canary mines and started to think about no matter how far technology takes us, we will always have this ancient “equipment”- our senses- to rely on. I was inspired to do an informal survey with the soldiers I served with to compile a list of common scent memories from time overseas, training, or the military itself. It was amazing how similar they were. From there I met and collaborated with Susan Barbour, a perfumist and master sommelier and we worked at the Institute of Art and Olfaction developing scent artworks and exploring the world of natural and synthetic smells, including attraction/mate selection and hormones/pheromones, which has evolved into workshops that both she and I give as a way of expressing some of these notions of scent, memory, sharing, experience and instinct.