Scent Verse: Jellyfish

03rd May, 2017

Scent Verse is a poetry project curated by Basenotes writer Eddie Bulliqi that seeks to explore scent language and metaphors by publishing poems from contributors across different industries that either take scent as their inspiration or are very evocative of smell. 

If you are interested in being involved, please send a direct message here on Basenotes.



by Ashraf Osman

She stood in the middle of the sea 
With dead jellyfish floating around; 
She opened up her arms and said, 
My heart is big enough for everybody. 
I did not believe her. 
I still don't. 

The plucking of the strings 
On a white wall that's rubbing off, 
Footsteps on cobblestone 
And a silence that only the heat is capable of... 
Her lies smell like orange peel, 
Tart and bitter. 

I still comb the shore every now and then 
For pieces of jellyfish from that day 
But there's nothing on the sand but foam 
And the smell of orange peel. 

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About the author: Ashraf Osman

Ashraf Osman is an architect and olfactory art specialist (curator, critic and historian). He is founder-director of Scent Art Net and Artinect, a consultancy that connects art and people, virtually and physically. He is an advisor of the Institute for Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles and a judge for the Experimental category of its Art and Olfaction Awards. He taught Interdisciplinary Design Foundations at Philadelphia University, and is the author of a brief academic survey of olfactory art in the 20th century. Ashraf recently curated a year-long Olfactory Exhibition series at Kunstmuseum Thun in Switzerland, and is currently working on a traveling olfactory art project, in partnership with Givaudan, titled Scents of Exile.



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    • Bavard | 10th May 2017 05:43

      I couldn't understand all of it, but the memories of the taste and smell of orange peels sound like they were instrumental in overcoming the disappointment of the lies and betrayal.

    • hednic | 11th May 2017 15:46

      That was pretty interesting and unique.