Researchers from EU and Great Britain reproduce ‘lost’ odors from history, as part of ‘Odeuropa’ project / In Understanding the Past, odors were not taken into account, historians say

Researchers from the European Union and Great Britain are recreating specific scents from the past, as part of the “Odeuropa” project, using algorithms and graphics based on visual or written evidence, The Guardian notes. The project aims to help understand the history and how smells were present in different historical contexts.

Dung, snuff, fish, and old leather: These ingredients can be essential for time travel. Academics who recreate lost scents from European history want to introduce such scents to a wide range of museums and attractions. Working under the Odeuropa banner, a group of chemists and historians have spent more than two years isolating and reproducing key scents associated with significant moments and sites. They argue that smell has been unfairly ignored in academic attempts to make sense of the past, especially when considering its impact on everyday life.writes the aforementioned publication.

In science and historical study “there was a hierarchy of the senses. We wanted to see a multi-sensory approach,” said Cecilia Pembeber, a sustainable heritage lecturer at University College London (UCL). Also, “there was the idea that the sense of smell is less noble than the human sense.” and that it is somehow less objective, less educated, and less trustworthy,” she says. Bembibre gave an example where A fragrance to match the smell of dirty sewers was created in old Amsterdamas part of the decoration designed for the exhibition Passing – colorful scents From Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands.

According to The Guardian, the consortium of experts involved in the project is headquartered in Amsterdam, but research bases are located in Germany, Italy, France and Slovenia, as well as at UCL and Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. The entire project is funded by a grant of €2.8 million from the programme sky line from the European Union in 2020 and “aims to establish the science of olfactory history, drawing on visual and written evidence to synthesize key odors resulting from outdated crafts, habits and diets,” according to the cited source.

How are multisensory experiences achieved?

“In Germany, Tens of thousands of historical photos related to smell are analyzedwhile in Italy Focuses on text analysisFrom ancient medicinal formulas to cookbooks,” said Pembeber, an Odeuropa researcher who also works at University College London’s (UCL) Sustainable Heritage Institute, where he recently completed his Ph.

As I explained it Much work has focused on teaching computers to recognize images associated with smells, such as a sketch of a person holding their nose. By exposing digital search tools to a series of similar images, researchers can create an algorithm that recognizes gestures in other illustrations.informs the British publication

finally, This work will allow the collection of an encyclopedia of historical smellswhich is part of the project led by Dr. William Tolle of Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge. These smells explain environmental changes It will provide insight into the lives of the participants. The researchers argue that olfactory clues must also be preserved for future generations, not just visual, physical, and written evidence.

But there are many aspects to negotiate — as Pembeber points out: “It’s very difficult to get the information you need to bring back the scent.” His chemical activity reproduced the scent of fragrant [n. red. – săculeț cu amestec de ierburi parfumate] From the 1750s in Knoll, the ancestral home of the Sackville-West family in Kent, whose description appears in Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando.

She also reinvented the scent of the library at St Paul’s Cathedral in LondonAnd the extraction of detectable elements from the air in 2017, before it was refurbished. “We’re trying to decide whether it’s academically important to preserve the authenticity of scents with the right chemicals, or if we’re simply trying to evoke an experience by creating a similar effect in the present,” said Pembeber. Another difficulty the researchers face is that human reactions to smells have changed drastically: “We don’t smell the same way anymore, and some smells mean different things.”

but, Fortunately, not all lost smells are bad. Odeuropa also researches the smell of incense and its historical and cultural significance. “We really want to engage communities. There is a ‘witness nose’ in life, now, that can help us recreate scents from childhood or from jobs that no longer exist,” Bimbiber said.writes the guard. Odeuropa’s research capitalized on the growing interest by commercial perfumers in niche fragrances – leather, spice, and smoke are now common ingredients in expensive brands..

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