MDes Interior Design School of Design

Shu Him Brian Lee (Me)

Olfactory Sensation

Olfactory Sensation

This project aims to restore post-pandemic wellbeing through a series of olfactive sensational biophilic experiences around Glasgow. The prevalence of mental health disorders is expected to rise during the post-pandemic time because of the long-term effects of restrictive measures such as social distancing and quarantine and the socio-economic effects. This has urged me to design therapeutical pavilions in Glasgow, providing a healing place for anyone suffering from psychiatric illness of post-pandemic.

The idea is to associate scent sensation with the ‘Forest Bathing’ technique. Each of us breathes in and out around 24,000 times every day. With every breath, irresistible signals are sent straight to the brain, which in nanoseconds trigger emotions and memories. The smell of chlorine evokes nostalgic summer memories of the swimming pool. It is common to have a hungry reaction to smell the newly baked bread. The power of smells influences our moods and psychological wellbeing, where aromatherapy becomes apparent. The idea of introducing a biophilic experience is to create a place of solitude and isolation away from the world and be closely associated with other life forms in nature. It is also a common medicinal practice in Japan called forest bathing.

The project will conduct in-depth research on scent psychology and wellbeing from essential readings like Smellosophy and Art scents. Artists like Sissel Tolaas and Kate McLean have been critical inspirations for this project, especially their approaches to interacting with smells in art and engaging experiences. Lastly, the workshop with the scent expert in Olfactive Material Glasgow regarding experiments with their vast scent archive.

The project offers scents complementing the pavilion and effectively restores the psychiatric illness of post-pandemic.


Woody is a scent that simulates the forest atmosphere. Its clean and sharp smell is blended with three molecules (Coniferas Fire, Vetiver Haiti, & Cashmeran). The base note of the scent is woody oriented, with a subtle and earthy tone, just like situating in the coniferous forest, surrounded by pinewood and inhaling the moisture and warmth air. The scent should evocate a soothing and relaxing as you meditate in nature. I created Woody because I wanted to simulate the forest atmosphere. In the previous forest bathing research, the forest is a natural therapy. A mindful exploration of nature can release stress and anxiety. During this post-pandemic period, many people suffer from various psychological problems (anxiety & agoraphobia) through the collaboration with olfactory and other perceptions to emulate the natural environment within the bustling city. Ingredients: Coniferan Pure, Vetiver Haiti & Cashmeran
Isometric diagram

Isometric diagram

The Woody

The Centrepiece is a place for solitude and to slow down from all the disturbance. One of the key elements in forest bathing is to switch off from the real world and reconnect with nature. The installation overall is a sanctuary space for people who encounter social anxiety like (agoraphobia and other sources of stress). This space provides the area for them to take a break from all that, sit down and appreciate the scenery in front of them. The furniture is pebble inspired, as there are shaped in organic forms. The overall goal of this furniture is not to overtake the attention to the other element, blinding the scene with the smooth and round edges of the furniture.


The wildlife is an olfactory installation applying the scent of Cashmeran. Cashmeran is the minor com-ponent of Woody. It has an intense odour of synthetic musk, which can overpower the other smells within the space and the olfactory system. The installation is set in the furthest corner of the space with eight wood branches at the front as an indication of distancing. The idea behind the branches is emulating the scenery in the forest where animals hide behind the tree for protection (fig-ure 1). I chose faux fur to manifest the dramatic furry effect of an animal.

Vetiver Haiti

The second space is the grass hill. It is a miniature hill within the space to emulate the mountain in the forest. Moreover, it manifests a more enclosure between the visitors and the grass. The woody com-ponent (Vetiver Haiti) is stained on the turf's surface, creating the ambient scent of warmth and grass in the space. Visitors are encouraged to feel the turf's texture and reimagine themselves in the grass field.

Vetiver Haite

Coniferan Pure

The tree branches are situated in the first half of the space. They work as the interior's guidance, lead-ing visitors into the space. The woody component (Coniferan Pure E.O) is stained on the surface of the wood, emanating the smells of the coniferous forest- The Balsamic, sandalwood, woody odour, and sweetness from the pines. Visitors are encouraged to feel the rough textures of the barks while inhal-ing this ambience scent around the space, just like they are practising the forest bathing techniques. They are also encouraged to intersperse between the tree and create their circulation within the space.

Coniferan Pure