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Fragrancing FEAR

Posted: May 16, 2007

page 6 of 7

“They all think I’m crazy,” she laughs. “But then, when they start to see the results, they think it’s interesting.”

Once the resulting nine fragrances were microencapsulated, they were applied to installation walls via a translucent varnish in 2 m x 2 m swaths. Visitors could then touch these areas—described by Tolaas as being “like a skin on the wall”—releasing the scents of sweat and fear into the air.

“The amazing thing is that all the sweat is all different,” says Tolaas. “It’s really about the body as a tool of communication.

“How does our body smell? What does a body’s scent tell … If we get rid of all the extensions—all the soaps, the creams, and if we only listened to our own body smell. Because we forgot that our own body actually smells because we are so used to putting layers and layers of other smells on it. It’s about cutting back to zero, which is one of my big issues. Where did we start?”

Tolaas, always busy with corporate clients and her own work, will go to the North Pole with a delegation next year to retrieve samples of snow and ice for a future project. In addition, she is interested in sampling scent molecules from the air in Iceland.