As you might know, we’re proud sponsors of TEDx Bristol – we’re really invested in all the ground-breaking work they’re doing. This Sunday, 17th November 2019, they’re taking over The Old Vic, Bristol, with TEDxBristol 2019: Reflect. Rethink. Reboot. It promises to be a fascinating day that will approach the challenges we’re facing as a species on this planet head-on, and explore opportunities for us to do better through doing differently.

We were invited along to enjoy the talks – and excitingly ­– hold a stall at Cooper’s Hall to speak to attendees about who we are and what we do.

Quickly deciding that we didn’t want to bring along a roller-banner and a table cloth, we put our heads together to think about something genuinely interesting and inspiring to offer the attendees of TEDx Bristol.

Introducing our scent experiment

ReminiScent is our scent-based experiment. We’re going to evoke, record and retell the scent stories of the people of Bristol. Why?

Scent is our oldest sense – the one that developed through evolution before sight, hearing, touch. That suggests it was vital for our existence and goes some way to explaining why humans can identify over 1 trillion scents.

Fascinatingly, it’s also strongly linked to memory. Scientists are currently exploring the extent of this, and it seems that there is significance in the fact that an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is a loss of sense of smell.

Often we breathe in a scent – say, the washing powder your mother used or the smell of your school dinners – and memories come rushing back. Sometimes startlingly clear memories with clear emotions attached. And that’s exactly what we’re going to capture with ReminiScent.

We’ve built an apothecary of mystery scents. We’re asking visitors to lift the lid and take a sniff. But we’re not asking them to identify what that scent is, we want to know what that scent brings up for them; what, who, when or where it helps them remember.

Across the day, we’re going to record all of your fascinating, unique stories. Then we’ll take them away to analyse and beautifully visualise the scent stories of the people of Bristol – how they’re similar, how they’re different, how they unite us as humans.

See you there?

Come on down to the Bristol Old Vic on Sunday to get reminiscent. You don’t need to have tickets to TEDx Bristol to visit our experiment – we’ll be in Cooper’s Hall from 11am until 7.30. If you’re in Bristol, please do come along and say hello.

If not, you can keep up with our experiment on Twitter and LinkedIn.