Dubbing herself a “professional in-betweener”, scent expert Sissel Tolaas has been working at the intersection of smell and language since 1990.
With smell as her medium, Tolaas’s work explores how different smells can be described, how smells are remembered and measured, how the information in smells can be used and how abstract smell molecules can be employed to convey a specific learned meaning.
Born in Norway, but currently based in Berlin, Tolaas studied mathematics, chemical science, languages and visual art in Norway, Poland, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Tolaas uses various aspects of science, art and design to research and create works that relate to the human experience of smell. Her work asks questions about how smell can be an information unit combined in communication systems with other sensory information.
In 2004 Tolaas founded the SMELL RE_searchLab in Berlin, with support from the International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. Her research has won international recognition in the form of scholarships, honours and prizes in Europe, North America and the East.
Recently Tolaas was a founding member of the International Sleep Science and Technology Association.