UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


UCL ISH historic smells research featured on Channel 5 series

7 February 2017

UCL ISH PhD student Cecilia Bembibre featured on the first episode of Channel 5’s new series ‘Secrets of the National Trust with Alan Titchmarsh’, which first aired on Tuesday 7th February at 9pm.

Cecilia Bembibre Channel 5

In a conversation with Alan Titchmarsh, Cecilia shared UCL ISH’s ongoing research on historic smells and how they can help us to learn about the past.  

The first episode, which looks at National Trust property Knole Park, aired on Tuesday 7th February at 9pm. Cecilia's section runs from 32.30 - 34.20 minutes.

Cecilia’s research looks at the role of olfaction in heritage, from identifying smells with historic value to exploring how Heritage Science can contribute to understanding and preserving them. Five historic smells from National Trust property Knole House are the focus of Cecilia’s case study work involving extraction, analysis and archival of heritage smells.

Commenting on her research, Cecilia Bembibre said:

‘Smells play a powerful role in our daily lives and individual memories can be considered part of our intangible cultural heritage, not only for their own value, but through their connections to language, tradition and tourism.

“Researching our olfactory past, and its connections to the present, will help us identify ways to understand and protect our multisensory heritage.”

To find out more about Cecilia’s research click here.