Closeup photo of jasmine flowers and leaves

About the World Sensorium

When art is made new, we are made new with it. We have a sense of solidarity with our own time, and of psychic energies shared and redoubled, which is just about the most satisfying thing that life can offer.  – John Russell

World Sensorium is a world olfactory social sculpture, a monument to the planet and humanity touching the larger realities between us at this important and powerful passage of time in our lives and in history. It is an artwork that uses the essences of aromatic plants and one’s sense of smell in an artistic creation that explores the nature of olfactory aesthetics, offers sensorial engagement, and encourages reflection. World Sensorium informs us about our experience of nature and promotes the possibilities from holding the world as one in our collective memory.

Research and a world survey were part of the artistic social process which established the most culturally significant aromatic plants as the components of the work. The official collaborative dialogs with the countries through their UN missions, embassies, consulates and ministries took five years, and are what makes the artwork a social sculpture. Government officials helped to identify a natural scent that their country knows to be invested with historical and cultural meaning to its people, traceable through medicine, mythology, religion and anthropology. This established the official government-sanctioned components of the World Sensorium aroma structure. These iconic world heritage aromatic plants are embedded in each country’s culture, providing a range of qualities from primal sensation, nutrition and medicine to spiritual or national symbolism. They are also highly associated with odor-evoked memory and initiate an emotional response from the people of the country. These aromatic plant materials are statistically formulated in a composition based on country population percentages where everyone counts. (The country cultural statements can be read in the original website.)

World Sensorium is a natural and inclusive scent made from the cuttings of old cultural branches in humanity’s partnership with nature, essences formulated to initiate a unifying consciousness. This is a way for us to hold our world within us, know it, and trust that our common modern destiny of choice is to move as one for the survival of all.

Photo of a brown class bottle etched in gold with the text, "WORLD SENSORIUM by Gayil Nalls, 1999 First Edition

World Sensorium, First Record, 2000

World Social Olfactory Sculpture of Aromatic Phytogenic Material

Amber Borosilicate Bottle, 4 x 2 inches, 100ml at 25% 

Edition of 18

Created in New York City by Gayil Nalls

World Sensorium continues to be exhibited around the world.