At The Bar with Footscray Scent Artist Erin Adams

Erin Adams is an olfactory artist from Melbourne, who takes her scented works to art shows around the world, including Berlin, and has created an epic installation for Sleepless 2024 in Footscray showing for two weeks in May.

She’s also the founder of Smell Art and worked in the scented design space since 2007, her mission to create multi-sensory experiences all in the name of art and olfactory high fives you’ll long remember.

She’s self-taught, and looks to the masters for inspiration including French perfumier Christophe Laudamiel and Australian olfactory queen Ainslie Walker.

Her debut installation as part of Sleepless 2024 taps into the essence of Australia.

“I really wanted to do something fun for my community, so for this installation, I’ve made some giant origami seed pods that spurt out the scent of lemon-scented eucalyptus,” says Erin Adams.

“I used a copper alembic still to extract the essential oil and hydrosol from trees right here in Footscray. This is an olfactory artwork that evokes joy, curiosity, and connection,” she says. “I also know that most people have never experienced olfactory art before, a lot of my work has happened overseas so this is great to keep it local.”

Erin Adams talks to The Write Drop for our At The Bar series – sharing her favourite bars when traveling interstate, South Australian wineries she recommends and what she likes to drink when she’s at her fave bar in Berlin.

MY CITY

I live in Footscray in Melbourne/Naarm. It’s a wonderful community with lots of locally-owned small businesses. Exploring the diverse range of cuisines available at our restaurants and market is an incredible experience. I also secretly love that Footscray is kind of a bit daggy – as in non-judgemental – I can definitely go out in my track pants here and no one cares at all.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

Dining at chef Robin Wicken’s Interlude restaurant in Fitzroy and it blew my mind. I’d never experienced food that was art before. Interlude closed a long time ago, so if you want that experience now, you’ll have to head to the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, Victoria. It’s super pricey but worth it.

FAVOURITE BAR 

A favourite is Madame Claude in Berlin. It’s a David Lynch themed upside-down bar with experimental live music. I’ve been super lucky to do a couple of scent designs for gigs there at their Experimontag nights, and the vibe is always great with a packed audience. When there I usually drink Gösser NaturRadler.

DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

A radler – it’s basically a shandy made of lemonade + beer; and because I’m pretty cheap and cheerful.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

I’m a total lightweight when it comes to drinking – also known as a Cadbury (a glass and a half etc). So not having more than three drinks is my only hangover cure.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

I really like live music, so I would have to say the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Adelaide. Aside from great gigs, they have an epic beer selection that is always changing so you can always try something new.

FAVOURITE WINE 

I do love a chilled glass of Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Moscato when visiting my family in Adelaide for the summer holidays.

FAVOURITE WINERY

Coriole Vineyards in McLaren Vale, South Australia is a super lovely place to visit.

NEXT BAR STOP

I really want to try a fancy cocktail at Byrdi in Melbourne. My friend recommended it to me and their menu looks so good. They have an ‘Unearthed’ cocktail with Tasmanian Apple, Yarra Valley Mushroom Garum, Geraldton Wax and Dill. This is basically an experimental indie perfume you can drink.

www.smellart.com.au

www.sleeplessfestival.com

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