Why Scent Tattoo?

From the moment you are born, each and every smell you encounter leaves a permanent impression in the brain. With each interaction, you are forming nerve connections in the limbic system - the emotional part of your brain. So, in effect, every moment you are living and breathing, you are imprinting a scent tattoo in your brain - creating a lifetime of scent memories.

Scent (n) : a distinctive smell or odor, especially one that is pleasant.

Tattoo (n) : an indelible (not able to be forgotten or removed) mark or figure fixed upon the body.

Frauke Galia, human

Frauke Galia, human

This project is personal. It connects two things I love more than anything: humans + our sense of smell. Strange combination, right? Well, let me explain.

We are living in uncertain and volatile times - the information revolution, mass migrations, increasing income inequality and political discourse, I sense we are getting ever more disconnected and divided as a human race. And it’s causing anxiety and fear - and alienation.

We are all human beings first and foremost, but quickly society knowingly divides us by our gender, race, religion and/or class. Fundamentally, as humans though, we ALL have basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and the air we breath, but we also have social needs like love, belonging and the desire for connection.

So where does our sense of smell come in? Well, I’ve been working in and around the fragrance industry for 20+ years and what I saw more than anything is that people connected with scent - all people - humans. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from, there was always a strong emotional response, and a story to tell, about what we’ve smelled.

This project is meant to showcase how much more we are alike than different as human beings. I believe we are fundamentally all the same - we are all humans, with stories to tell. And although our stories are all different, there are aspects we can all relate to. And that is connection.

I believe scent connects humans. I think you’ll see how. Enjoy the stories. I invite you to share yours.