Smell Camera

The Madeleine is a camera that’s as unusual as cameras get. Because instead of immortalizing memories by capturing images of it, it captures smells instead. The odor-capturing ‘camera’ of sorts was developed by designer Amy Radcliffe using technology that’s used in the perfume industry.

Amy explains: “The Madeleine works in much the same way as a 35mm camera. Just as the camera records the light information of a visual in order to create a replica The Madeleine records the molecular information of a smell.”

Here’s how it works: the source of the scent or odor is placed inside the glass dome that’s connected to the main part of the Madeleine. A pump then extracts and pulls scent molecules, which are then captured in a resin trap. This trap can then be sent off to a lab to be analyzed and maybe even re-created.

Amy dubs this concept as “scent-ography” and envisions this as an alternative way of recording memories, saying: “From manipulating our emotional well-being through prescribed nostalgia, to the functional use of conditioned scent memory, our olfactory sense could take on a much more conscious role in the way we consume and record the world.”