The sense of smell can be particularly evocative of memory and place. In any metropolis, cultivating a distinct mental space through scent often becomes its personal and necessary ritual. Coming home, and coloring the air with a mild but recognizable aroma can help transition one’s mind from the city’s unpredictable sea of stories to the familiar and constant narrative of one’s own life. Over time, this smell can grow in one’s memory to signify home.

Like getting dressed, or decorating a home, burning incense almost involuntarily becomes a kind of self-portrait. The simplicity of the act itself allows for innumerable variations. Naturally, one’s own ritual comes to reflect their lifestyle.

As incense burns, and its smell steeps in the air, one becomes aware of the passing of time. Thin ribbons of smoke sway through a room, making an invisible imprint both on the space, and one’s memory of it. The home is no longer a solid, linear, bound location but an emotional recollection, full of sensory memories blending together.

Videography: Owen Smith-Clark

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