A scent journey by Artist Devon Baur



“When I was three, I put a crayon in front of a heater in my house, and it melted into the carpet. The whole house smelled like crayons for like--a week--and that's what I thought of. The memory is pretty vivid, but the emotions are foggy. I can still remember what the blue stain in the carpet looked like.” 2007 or 8
“Crayons remind me of searching for our family crayon box in our toy closet. It makes me anxious because the closet didn't have lights so I'd step on legos. It is a pretty vivid memory and one small detail I remember is just being wary of my next step because I could step on something. I was about 7 or 8.” 2010
“Crayons remind me of my time teaching. I would have so many crayons to distribute to my students. Although some kids would be organized with their crayons, others would break them easily, and they would be thrown in a big bucket. The smell of crayons reminds me of the children that I taught.” 18 years ago
“The smell of crayons takes me back to elementary school, specifically on the first day when you came in with your new box of crayons and got to open it. I was always very picky with how mine were organized and I made sure they didn't get ruined. Then fast forward to the middle of the school year--when you didn't know where half of them went because people would borrow them and then the classroom just had a bin of half used and broken ones. It kind of brings on a feeling of home in a strange way seeing them go from new to used.” 2010
“I hate crayons. They're the worst art supplies. But I remember the last thing I drew with them was Kirby.” July 2021
“I remember when I was in an acute stay mental health facility. We were only allowed to color with crayons because you could hurt yourself with anything else so our hands always smelled like crayons. It is not a very happy memory but I did receive the help I needed. We colored for hours every day.” The week before Thanksgiving 2019
“The smell reminds me of elementary school when we had to color with huge crayons. It brings back the feeling of happiness and being carefree. The memory is not very vivid because it happened a while ago. I was probably 7 years old.” 2010
“This smell reminds me of the box of crayons that my grandma kept in the stair closet in her house. They always annoyed me because they were cheap and would break easily.” 10 years ago
“I remember sitting in art class with my giant pack of crayons I had brought to school so everyone could use them in their self portraits. The art teacher was teaching us how to shape our faces for our self portraits. A friend of mine behind me had a color I wanted to use on my shirt on the canvas so while turning around to reach for it on the table behind me, I fell and hit my head on the chair and could distinctly remember the art teacher coming over to see if I was okay. She smelled of oil pants, charcoal, and of course, the crayons I had brought in, since she too was showing us how she drew her self portraits with my crayons.” March of 2010
“I remember a video about someone clearing out their sinuses and a comment specifically saying: “he can smell crayons now”. This was around 3 months ago, but I still remember it as if I watched the video 1 minute ago” 04/2021
“The memory that came to mind was the first day of 3rd grade where we had to draw a self portrait and I didn’t even have a certain color so I asked the person nearest to me and we became friends after that. I was 8 years old and I got happy thinking about it. It’s very vivid and I remember him teasing me about using all the color afterwards.” 2013
“I remember using crayons to color a birthday card for my mom and looking next to me to see my brother drawing the exact same thing. I remember the anger and annoyance I felt at him, constantly copying me.” 2015
“The scent of crayons reminds me of Macaroni Grill. I used to go there a lot when I was a kid and they used paper as a tablecloth. The waiter would write their name upside down with a crayon and I thought that it was the coolest talent. Crayons remind me of the fearlessness I used to have when I drew. With that in mind, crayons can sometimes evoke a feeling of melancholy because there's nothing like being a kid. It's a bit sad that we can never go back to that innocent time in our lives.” 2001
“The first time I used crayons was with my mom when I was about two, almost three. When my little sister was taking a nap, we would spend quiet time together so we wouldn't wake her. One of my favorite pastimes was coloring with crayons. We had a specific type, crayola twistable crayons, that never seemed to run out of wax. I would compare my own senseless scribbles with the neat blocks of color my mom steadily filled, and wonder if I would ever develop the motor skills to match her artistry.” 2006-2007
“My family would bring a bag of entertainment items on road trips, when we would drive to Florida, starting in the morning. We had Princess Strawberry Shortcake coloring books with yellow pages with the texture of butcher paper and Twistable Crayola crayons that we would draw with. We would keep them in a tin Spongebob pencil case and they were always dull because they could not be sharpened, but I liked the texture of the lines that came from them. I would get invested in drawing, and would be able to continue coloring for a good portion of trips.” 2008 – 2012


Smemory Theater is a short film that offers an abstraction of the survey results melded with personal experience. The narrative explores the gaps in memory that emerge from anosmia.