Making Scents: Art and the Olfactory

A day-long workshop exploring the application of scent in art. 

22 Sep 2018
11am – 4pm
London, UK

Frieze Academy presents 'Making Scents: Art and the Olfactory', an introductory workshop and symposium which invites experts to share all the latest developments in the narratives and innovations in scent, in collaboration with Escentric Molecules.

Stepping away from the shiny floors of department stores, we will explore scent through the eyes of artists who use it to layer a new context to their work. The day will cover subjects as diverse as scent-mapping, scent-engineering, the ways our brains respond to scent, as well as aesthetic and philosophical ways that this sense is used.

Including experts from the worlds of art, scent, neuroscience and philosophy, the goal of the day is to learn and workshop the myriad and inspiring ways scent can be experienced and understand better the ways our brains respond. 

  • This day will appeal to artists and creatives looking to understand more about the lateral and radical applications of scent in contemporary artistic projects
  • It will also appeal to those curious about the art historical relationship with scent, and the traditions of aromatic practice in evoking other eras, as well as identifying contemporary artists who use scent in innovative and experimental way
  • With speakers from the perfume, science and art industry, the day will offer new interpretations and hands-on experience for beauty industry professionals



The day will be hosted by Susan Irvine, a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art where she teaches a course on olfaction and fragrance. She has published two books on visualizing perfume and has won the industry's Jasmine Award numerous times for her writing. She is also a fragrance conceptualisation consultant.
Caro Verbeek is an art historian, author, curator and researcher specializing in smell and touch. Since 2010 she has taught ‘The Other Senses’ at the RCA (The Hague) and designed olfactory tours and sensory workshops for museums and other institutions. She is currently working on her PhD on art history and smell at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, with IFF (International Flavours & Fragrances) and the Rijksmuseum. Since 2015 she has curated a scent culture program in the Netherlands called ‘Odorama’.

Geza Schoen is a German-based perfumer who at the age of 13 was able to distinguish over 100 fragrances. During the first decade of his career he worked in Singapore, London, New York and Paris, but disillusioned he moved to London where he discovered ‘Iso E Super’, an aroma-chemical that forms the basis of his Escentric Molecules perfume range. Geza has also worked with The Ormonde Jayne Fragrances, The Beautiful Mind Series, Project Renegades and Biehl
Art Perfume, as well as collaborating with artists such as Sissel Tolaas, Jeppe Hein and Wolfgang Georgsdorf on various conceptual art pieces.

Paul Schütze has a career that spans art, olfactory and music. He runs the online sensory archive Dressing The Air, and recently launched the fragrance house Paul Schütze Perfume with partner Chris Rickwood. His perfume projects have seen him install three bespoke fragrances in The Sir John Soane Museum. Schutze also works as an artist using photography, video, sound and installation. He has collaborated with artists including James Turrell, Josiah McElheny & Isaac Julien. He is a part of Australian experimental band Laughing Hands and Phantom City - he has released over thirty albums of original music.

Sissel Tolaas is a Berlin-based pioneering smell researcher and artist, who has been researching and experimenting intensively with the topic of smell since 1990.
 Sissel established the SMELL RE_searchLab Berlin in January 2004, supported by IFF Inc.  She has worked with international museums and universities, and has also built a smell archive, a collection of 10,000 smell-molecules and smell-structures.

More expert speakers to be confirmed soon.

We offer a number of complimentary bursary places on this course for the unwaged, students and pensioners. If you would like to apply, please send one paragraph explaining why you believe you qualify and why this specific course is of interest to The application deadline is 15 August 2018 and successful applicants will be notified by 1st September.

Image: Sister, 2011, Anicka Yi, photographs by Joerg Lohse, c/o 47 Canal, New York.

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