SEAHA Student Cecilia Bembibre Sniffs out Historic Smells

Cecilia Bembibre, 2nd-year SEAHA student at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, has recently completed training in chemical and sensory analysis of odours with Odournet SL, industry partner in her Smell of Heritage project. Working in the company’s laboratory in Barcelona, Cecilia has analysed samples of historic value from National Trust’s property Knole House. The combination of analytical chemistry (Time-of-Flight Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry) and the human nose (via GC-sniffing) allowed for the most sophisticated characterization of odours, helping us understand the information historic smells carry and how it can impact our interpretation of the past.