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The Pátio do Colégio, and its surrounding buildings, are something of a hidden gem in terms of the city's top visitor attractions, and yet are ground zero when it comes to São Paulo's history. Two of those buildings, the recently-renovated Casa da Imagem and the Solar da Marquesa de Santos, the latter once home to the Marquise de Santos, sometime-mistress of the first Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro I, are getting something of a facelift, and a bonus reason to pay a visit, with the sensory art installation, entitled Perfume de Princesa ('Princess Perfume'), by Brazilian artist Wagner Malta Tavares.
A metal tube, 300 metres long, will weave its way through the two buildings and the Beco do Pinto – a passageway that was once used to connect Sé and the Tamanduateí river – emitting different aromas along its length. Tavares' aim is that each aroma will trigger a memory which, when juxtaposed with the sight of an industrial tube dissecting an historic building, will create a confusing sense of historic distortion for visitors. Besides aromas of roses, jasmine and lavender, there's even a smell of orgy, at the point where the tube encircles a marble bath tub in the Solar da Marquesa de Santos. 'People who know the smell, will recognize it,' says the artist.