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Tvergastein Issue 14: The Arts and the Environment. Image by cChange

 

[OSLO]—Dr. Karen O’Brien and Nicole Schafenacker, editors of the cli-fi anthology “Our Entangled Future” write about the book in the Oslo-based journal, Tvergastein, for Issue #14, Art & Environment! “Can climate fiction help us engage with a new paradigm for social change?”. Read the issue for free here.

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For example, author and artist Catherine Sarah Young describes her approach to The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store as follows: “I use the abstract yet scientific relationship between scent and memory as a way for humans to redefine their relationship between scent and memory as a way for humans to redefine their relationship with nature through remembering their personal histories and reinforcing their identities, which can facilitate quantum social change.”

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The stories in Our Entangled Future explore characters who connect with reality through non-linear time, collective consciousness, and multi species sentience….Emilia, the main character in Young’s short story, The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, is a perfumer with a keen sense of smell — which is, in fact, considered by some biologists to be an example fo a quantum phenomenon (McFadden and Al-Khalili 2016). Her sense of smell provides her with important information when she meets a trespassing strange — a hulk of a man who could easily overpower her: “She sniffed the air and smelled his fear”. Together, these short stories suggest that we are entangled through our senses, experiences, and consciousness. .

Thanks, guys! Virtual hugs from Sydney!

In the middle of researching for smells for The Apocalypse Project, I came across Sifr Aromatics, an independent niche perfumery located on Arab Street in Singapore.

Oh true apothecary! Johari Kazura of Sifr Aromatics

Oh true apothecary! Johari Kazura of Sifr Aromatics

Mr. Kazura is a third generation perfume maker. He learned the business on the job, and also took some courses in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. Perusing his shop, I came across all the books I read during the time I was doing some of my graduate school projects on smell. His store is a beautiful cornucopia of beautiful Eqyptian bottles, as well as antiques.

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Thanks to the store, I finally came up with a list of smells for relaxation for The Apocalypse Project. You know, when that time comes when we have to evacuate climate change disaster areas and people are panicking. The list includes lavender and lemon. Rose was a good candidate, too, however, it’s too expensive and thus not a practical choice. Peppermint was added to the list because it promotes alertness.

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Sifr is Arabic for “zero.” Johari says that in perfumery, “You start with nothing … you are a blank slate … and then later you end up with something.” And that something, smell, permeates.

Sifr is located at 42 Arab Street. Contact Johari Kazura at info@sifr.sg and visit their website here. Many thanks to Mr. Kazura and Hanz Monifiero Medina for all the help!