Milk - Scent of a Woman

Odorama 30 - with Lizzie Marx, Marie-Claire Springham and Spyros Drosopoulos

4 Apr 2019

This edition we will be submerged in the most intimate and influential fluid among mammals, we look at the curious historical concept of the womb as an olfactory organ with Lizzie Marx, we tackle the benefits of lactating men with Marie-Claire Springham and we will learn about milk on a molecular level and milk(y) notes in perfumery by Spyros Drosopoulos. Come and be enlightened, or just giggle your way through our new game about boobs in Art History.

Odorama is a concept by head curator Caro Verbeek and a collaboration with co-curators Frank Bloem and Sanne Groeneveld.

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Madonna Surrounded by Seraphim and Cherubim - Jean Fouquet (1452)

The first sense an embryo develops within the womb is smell. When babies are born they immediately recognize their mother through the vanilla-like scent of her breast milk. Maybe, this explains the historical belief that women have “two noses”, a ‘normal’ nose and the womb. Either way, research shows the symbioses between the scent of their mother’s milk on the newborn, and a hormone rush in the new mum when she smells the top of her baby’s head.

Caro Verbeek

Caro Verbeek is an art historian, author, and researcher with a focus on the lower senses (smell, taste, touch). As curator of this event and new mother, Caro Verbeek will introduce and moderate this Odorama. 

Lizzie Marx

Lizzie Marx is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Rijksmuseum where she explores the visual representations of smell in the Dutch Golden Age. She will be sharing her research on the womb and the belief that it was sensitive to smell. Lizzie will be showing book illustrations from the seventeenth century that reflected this idea, offering a glimpse into the varying attitudes towards women.

Dr. Spyros Drosopoulos

Dr. Spyros Drosopoulos is an independent perfumer and is based in Amsterdam. He creates for his own brand Baruti, but is also the nose behind most perfumes for Delush and recently got involved in Scentronix where he helps create an AI driven perfume making machine. He also creates perfumes for other brands and occasionally celebrities, artists. He teaches (advanced) perfumery classes and performs with his materials in a live setting. Spyros will further examine milk notes on molecular level, how they can be used in perfumes by showing some of his own perfumes where he has incorporated such notes.

Marie-Claire Springham

Marie-Claire Springham is an award winning Human-Centred Designer who is fascinated by stigma, she hopes that her creations use empower users and provoke discussions about what we define as "normal". With her Chestfeeding Kit, she created a design that could help the gender-bias around traditional parenting roles.

"After learning that the common trigger of postnatal depression for mothers is the pressure to breastfeed, I developed this kit to help couples support each other, as well as their new baby."


Odorama: Milk
Thursday the 4th of April
Start 20.00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €7,50 pre-sale | Students €5.25 pre-sale | +€2.50 at the door | (including €1 administration fee)