muddle: smelling spoons

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Muddle: smelling spoons – 05/2015

Did you know that smell decides for 80% our perception of flavour? And that smell is one of the most important players in the enjoyment of our food? I am truly fascinated by the fact that smells play such an important role in the emotional evaluation of our foods and highly trigger moods, memories, and nostalgia. Muddle: smelling spoons is an interactive installation in which (instead of choosing a flavour) the audience chooses an aromatic-sphere to season the flavour experience of a standard ice-cream.

In 2015 I tested Muddle for the first time. The visitors smelled all smells blanco (without any textual representations), which took them on a journey to their own imagination. I was just astonished by the reactions of people. One girl told me that a smell reminded her of the kitchen of her mother, and another smell transported a visitor to a childhood memory. In this way the eating experience was enriched by the stories and emotions triggered by the smells. Everybody ate the same ice cream, but at the same time it became very clear how each visitor had their unique experience. Muddle made people aware of the fact that emotion is one of the most important ingredients of an eating experience. Next to that, the experience created special connections between the visitors because they started to share their personal stories triggered by the smells.

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