A course at ArtScience 2013

ArtScience (www.interfaculty.nl) is the interfaculty of Royal Academy of Arts (www.kabk.nl) and Royal Conservatory (www.koncon.nl), The Hague.

teacher: Maki Ueda

What is it that we are smelling, what does it make you imagine, what does it make you feel? Could we incorporate the olfactory sense in art? Could smell be a medium carrying information? This course will deal with these questions through a combination of lectures, workshops, intermediate presentations and a final presentation. In this course we will start with looking at examples of art and the olfactory sense, then we will discuss the potential of the olfactory sense in art. The workshops will first focus on fieldwork and on observing the environment with the olfactory sense. You will smell a lot and learn how to communicate about smell with others, using a basic vocabulary for analyzing and expressing the character of a smell. Secondly we will extract smells from raw materials like soup, cheese burgers, old books, rubber tyres, flowers, and smelly T-shirts. You will learn how to do this yourself and how to compose new smells (in the most simple way). You're expected to develop an olfactory game as a final assignment.

 Applause to all the students!

It's sure going to be an exciting final presentation on Thursday. (From 12:00 - at PB301, KABK)

Yolanda: 3 different scents in different medium: alcohol, mustard oil, and incense.

John: working on the conditioning of his game.

Thijs: working on composition of perfume for his experiments on space & smell

Maurice: 2 scents in different proportions

Gabi: filtering her "gebakken uitjes (fried onion)" extract

...and we distilled "gebakken uitjes (fried onion)" smell.  First we fried onions in the flask and...

...then distilled it.

Here comes the essence.

Tatiana: olfactory "Bookmarks" on smell and poem.

Giselle: olfactory jigsaw puzzle

Yaprak: olfactory Russian Roulet

First we smelled the extracts from DAY 3.

  • autumn leaves (hot tincture) : Gisella
  • mushrooms from Haagse Bos (hot tincture): Yolanda
  • dream herb calea zatacechichi (hot tincture): Maurice
  • damiana (hot tincture): Maurice
  • pencil shave (hot tincture)s: Gaby
  • banana (hot tincture): Maurice
  • soil (hot tincture): tatiana
  • passion flower (cold tincture): Maurice
  • cat hair (hot tincture): John
  • body odour (cold tincture) : Yaprak
  • flower (enfleurage): Tatiana

Development of the works:


extraction of cat-related odours

cat food

cat hygiene (with or without pee)

needles to say...


extracting the scent of "gebakken uitjes" (fried onion) for crossword puzzle.

laurier leaves (cold tincture)

juniper berries (cold tincture)


working on making the stronger extract of autumn leaves for "jigsaw puzzle".


working on experiments on odour subtraction / addition quiz.


working on poem + odour + imagination.


working on "pokemon cards" type of game with a gradation of strength.

Final presentation:

17.10.2013., from 13:00.
at the room of Art Science (PB 301), KABK
(co-presentation with the other class from Art Science)

Dear students,

If you wonder what to bring on next Tue. for extraction, here are some examples from my past projects.





Checking the results of incence we made.

Extraction workshop:
Cat hair: hot tincture
Body odour: hot tincture
Pencil carves: hot tincture
Flower (that smells very fruity like grapes): enfleurage
Mushroom from the forest: hot tincture

Autumn leaves: hot tincture

Passion flowers: cold tincture

Hearbal leaves: hot tincture

Temperature: +-70 degrees


I showed them an example of olfactory game.

Kodo: a Japanese traditional smelling game.

The test round.

Smell No. 1: Sumotara
Smell No. 2: Sasora
Smell No. 3: Manaka

Then the guessing game. I diffused them in the following order.

1. Smell No. 2
2. Smell No. 1
3. Smell No. 4 ----> new! Kyara
4. Smell No. 3

Then smelling incenses form the world.

Making incense.

Stick type with ginger oil.

  • 6ml ginger oil
  • 2tp makko
  • 12ml water

...and made cone incense with powdered coffee.

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coffee
  • 2 tsp makko
  • 14ml water

For the recipe: http://smellart.blogspot.nl/2010/02/day-6-some-more-incense-recipes.html

Then we made non-conbustible incense with garam masala.

  • garam masala 1 1/4 tsp
  • honey 1/2 tsp

For the recipe: http://smellart.blogspot.nl/2010/02/day-6-how-to-make-non-combustible.html

Then we made a small play with some fragrant tools: fans and scarves.

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