Proust project update: selecting scents

The Proust project is continuing to develop and take shape. I completed the majority of the art pieces for the project in the spring. Images of these art pieces are to be used as illustrations for a book on the neuroscience behind Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, written by Dr. Barry. Psychiatrist Dr. Barry explores the so-called “Proust phenomenon” in which intense, visceral memories are evoked by scents. Referencing throughout passages from Proust, the book explores topics of consciousness, memory, olfactory memory, involuntary memory, dreams, emotion and, ultimately, psychoanalysis in order to understand the evocative power of smell. selecting scents | essential oils to be micro-encapsulated

The next step in the project is to have scents micro-encapsulated and printed on cards with the art images. This will become a useful tool for readers in understanding how olfaction can trigger memory and connections.

The first scents to prototype are to accompany the madeleines and tea section. Saturday's meeting was about finding olfactory matches for cookies with notes of honey and almond and lime blossom tea.

proust project | madeleines c Heather Hancock 2014

The project has such interesting physical world elements (scents, tastes, art objects, photographs) alongside compelling text about the processes of mind that give rise to everyday lived experience. More as it takes shape.

Images of all pieces in the series.