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About

Olfactory Gallery (Memories of Home) is a collection of works created by our 2022-2023 artist cohort that illustrate what home smells like to the artist. As the second installment of our Synesthesia project, Olfactory Gallery focuses on the strength of smell in storing and provoking memories - specifically those of our childhood and home.

The smell of a time long ago. Beyond the point of return, it keeps me. It visits me when I am
low. My dreams, memories, and serenity. The smell of you keeps me. It is my hope.

Desire Lovey Mae

M

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By T. M. Calhoun
Mulled Wine with Fruit

Olla De Aromas
Film by Laura Elena Padilla

By Petron Brown

I remember my father 

By the smell of roasted peanuts

At 6am 

Before the Caribbean sun 

Yielded salt from his wounds

 

He was one with the scent 

Of burning wood

Turned bright yellow

Kissing skin;

Unflinched

 

I remember him

By the smell of crumpled dollar bills 

On black bureaux laced with silver

Skin of charcoal 

Been rubbed against barrel

 

The burned ones smelled of coffee trails

Summoning me from my nest:

Shhhhh shhhhh shhhhh

Open nostrils and fill body 

With strength from Selassie

 

You--his descendant 

Marked by nose 

Ripened like mangoes in summer

Fallen like bad mammi in Joe’s yard

Only in this soil may you bear good fruit.

The West Indian Patriarch 

Cup of Coffee_edited.jpg

Coffee & Aftershave

By Daniel Andres Blanco

Rustic Kitchen

Garlic &

Onion Sauteed

In Leaving

By Dena Igusti

Home Is Where The Heart Sings

By Joselyn Orihuela

There is rain falling all over me, and the smell of the earth in the air.
The muddy ground at my feet.
I enter the Barn and catch the dust inside.
I make my way upstairs, and with each step I take, the fresh coat of paint Grows louder.
I can almost taste it.


Metal.


Gasoline.


Perfume.


A combination of all three,
and dust.
Oh, how lovely!
There is nowhere else I would rather be.
I step onto my mark and take my spot next to my friends.
Strangers three months ago, family today.
Just like that,
The lights dim.
The clapping fades.
The show ends.
And the song comes to a close.
But I’ve never felt music like this before.
I’m 19 years old, and this is the first time,
The first time I felt my heart sing.
Oh, what music!
Sweet, sweet, music.
My friend, let your heart sing!
You are home.

You’ve always been home.

By Cassidy Guimares

In my childhood home, the flowers of the dead smell like sunshine -

Clean air, coppertone lotion, the seats of mom’s 2007 honda minivan 

(careful, wipe your feet, no sand allowed)

And a small green pail. 

Dull and cracked, but, y’know, still good.

 

The shamrock-patterned china-glass teacup beside them

Smells like the hug of a spring yellow sweater -

Handmade, hesitant, frail,

Its bargain detergent-washed sleeves brushing 

The pictures of a daughter carefully pasted to poster board -

Her entire life on our kitchen table.

 

A shelf below, white ceramic wedding bells ring in fall -

The scent of summer lazily lounging as bright fitting room lights glare.

“Too loose, too tight, too expensive -“ (too impatient) 

Until two new pairs of sneakers squeak down linoleum halls,

Minds and backpacks heavy with things

We learned too slowly.

 

But in the back, half-hidden,

There is an unwound clock that smells mulberry red,

Like cranberries and cinnamon and slammed doors

And store-bought gingerbread houses and untouched board games and heartache -

(Yes, heartache, I’m sorry, but -)

 

The scent of it lingers, it overpowers, it is passed down and inherited like 

The memories we do not touch -

The ones trapped in flowers and teacups and wedding bells 

And tainted by the yankee candle signature collection

That is also locked

Behind those cabinet doors

Candles and
Memories