So in the case of World War I… I was supposed to do a permanent smell for the [Dresden Museum of Military History] museum opening. I had to construct the smell of gruesome battlefields—dead horses, dead bodies, shit, pee, you name it. I constructed a smell that was so awful; even myself, I had problems. Then the German government came to my lab and said, ‘Ms Tolaas, this is too extreme.’ I said, ‘But war is extreme. Should I turn it into a rose garden?’ So I reconstructed a more extreme smell with gas, and I called it World War I. It was installed in 2010 and immediately people started vomiting from it. My mission was accomplished.
— Smell artist Sissel Tolaas, in Meet the fragrance scientist behind Balenciaga’s blood-and-money perfume at Document.
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