Nosenography: How smell constitutes meaning, identity and temporal experience in spatial assemblages

Robin Canniford, Kathleen Riach, Tim Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (SciVal)
106 Downloads (Pure)


Nosenography is a theoretical and methodological commitment to uncover the presences and practices of smell, an often-ignored sensory feature of market and consumption spaces. Drawing on prior social science theorizations of smell as well as contemporary sensory marketing practices, we develop a framework to understand how smell features in spatial assemblages of bodies, locations and experiences. Extending theorizations of product smells and ambient smells, we show how this framework can guide knowledge of the sensing, practice and management of smell and space. We explain that smell is a dynamic and unruly force that (i) encodes spaces with meaning, (ii) identifies bodies with spaces, and (iii) punctuates the temporal experience of space as it changes. Nosenography reaffirms that spaces of consumption are multisensory and that this quality should be further acknowledged in figuring market spaces as dynamic and contested assemblages of heterogeneous constituents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-248
Number of pages15
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number2
Early online date2 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Embodiment
  • NRT
  • ethnography
  • identity
  • research methods
  • sensory marketing
  • smell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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