At Design Indaba 2012 PSFK spoke with scent expert, Sissel Tolaas about how her work subverts cultural preconceptions.

“I’m a professional in-betweener… it means that I’m everywhere and nowhere at the same time because I smell molecules and air is everywhere, so I can always work if I want to,” proclaims Norweigan-born odor artist, designer, and chemist, Sissel Tolaas. Her artistic practice explores olfaction — the sense of smell — by working with the odor molecules detected by our nose and the language we use to describe them.

In 2004, she founded the Re_Search Lab in Berlin, as a laboratory of olfactory and smell-communication, and a workspace where interdisciplinary projects could be developed, researched and executed. Supported by International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), these projects all involve smell, odor and fragrance in various ways, shapes or forms, and may be conceptual, scientific and creative in nature.

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