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Book Sections Year : 2021

Smell walks


This work aims to report the specific interest of experiential walks for smell perception in environmental analyses, using a review of different methods and field actions. The first part of the chapter reviews the main difficulties when one wants to comprehend environmental olfactory phenomenon, emphasizing the importance of semantic considerations and the role of the context accounts (from in vitro to in-situ, including in vivo approaches). By the way, field studies on the topic are scarce, especially if compared to the in vitro experiments profusion. If in vitro approaches allow parameters controls and statistical analysis, they struggle to covert identified ordinary life smell phenomenon. However, expectations and implicit memories are critical in everyday smell experiences. Even in vivo approaches, such as store reconstitutions, often fail to appreciate the magnitude of contexts in olfactory interpretations, especially situational ones. The second part of the chapter therefore, considers the main assets of experiential walks for smell: an in-situ posture implying confrontation of heterogenic data and an in motion specificity. The first one may permit to go a little farer then the simple sources inventory often use in environmental smell analyses. The second one allows renew sensations for a sense for which habituation, that is the rapid and specific olfactory acclimatization when exposed to an odor, is a particulary important feature of everyday smell experiences and movements. The advantages and drawbacks of smell walks are then discussed, to clear some recommendations for smell walks applications.
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Dates and versions

hal-03358540 , version 1 (29-09-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03358540 , version 1


Suzel Balez. Smell walks. Barbara E. A. Piga; Daniel Siret; Jean-Paul Thibaud. Experiential Walks for Urban Design - Revealing, Representing, and Activating the Sensory Environment, Springer Tracts in Civil Engineering, 2021, 978-3-030-76693-1. ⟨hal-03358540⟩
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