The Scent of Psyche


November 6th, 2023

Major: Psychology

Genre/Medium: Candle wax, candle dye and scents, acrylic paint and spray, some wire, pins and washers

About the work: The Scent of Psyche was designed to bring some colors and relaxation into our everyday lives. The candle is the representation of the Mission, the spacecraft, and the asteroid. The Inside – Inside of the Candle As the Psyche Mission is a journey to a metal world, this candle is a journey for our senses. We start with calming vanilla and orange dream slice, going into the signature scent of the season, pumpkin pie. Then we mix the coziness of brownies with refreshing coffee to maximize our experience. The idea of the layers comes from the asteroid’s differentiated layers of materials in its core. While creating the wax layers, I came to the realization that the only proper representation is if the layers are uneven, representing the natural formation. This required further planning and different waiting times to leave each layer dry. Once the first four layers were done, I waited a couple of days, so that they dry out a bit more and shrink. I was looking for ways to go behind some layers this way. I used hot wax, didn’t wait for it to cool down at all, and this way I managed to cross a few layers on the side. The Inside – Inside My Mind As a psychology major, besides the connection with art and science, I wanted to connect my work with psychology too. I looked up some articles about how candles can contribute to relaxation and the effects of scents on our behavior. According to the National Institute of Health, scents play a major role in our mood changes, creativity, and work capacity. I was trying to pick the scents that make me feel comfortable, like the brownie, Kona coffee and pumpkin pie, and some that were also refreshing like the vanilla, orange and fresh coffee. The Outside – Outside of the Candle I used silver acrylic paint spray to resemble space, and created a little model that looks like the spacecraft with the solar panels open. I used chicken wire to cut out the shape of the panels. The body of the spacecraft is a tack and a washer, that I painted over, matching the shuttle. For the lid, I also used acrylic spray and hand-painted “Psyche 2023” on it to mark the historical event. The Outside – Outside My Working Area Originally, I wanted to paint the spacecraft on the side of the candle. One day, I went out to see how my significant other was doing on the balcony. We had to use chicken wire to block the way to the neighbor, so that our freshly adopted cat couldn’t go over. At least that’s what we thought. As I saw the chicken wire, I saw Psyche, the spacecraft. All my thoughts were gathered around the mission, and I saw a great opportunity of making my candle even more unique with the wire model.

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Date Added: 11-06-2023
Credit: Alexandra Szabo

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