The Fumes of Death

Odorama 38 with Frank Bloem, Susanne Duijvestein, Steffie Baaijens, Pierre Valkering and Caro Verbeek

25 Jun 2020

In recent years there has been a slow but certain interest in dealing with death. The demand for a more diverse landscape of funeral opportunities has increased. Just as our culture evolves, so does our way of remembering. Death is no longer seen as the enemy of life, but is an integral part of it. How can scent play a role during mourning? How can people keep the scent of a deceased person alive?

Tickets / Facebook


From "Resurrecting the Sublime" - Dr. Christina Agapakis of Ginkgo Bioworks, Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, and Sissel Tolaas, with support from IFF, Inc.


Funeral director Susanne Duijvestein is one of the pioneers, that are exploring new ways of dealing with death. She is an integral part of our 'Still Life' Project.

What role does scent play during the grieving-process? How can we recreate the smell of a deceased person? After her boyfriend died, artist Steffie Baaijens reconstructed his smell. Plagues and diseases have plagued us since time immemorial. Thanks to our ingenuity, we have protected ourselves behind a wall of vaccinations for several years. This created a false feeling of safeness.

During trialling times, we ought to look back. When we do this now, we can link to plague-times and see how odour was used in the battle. For example, plague doctors that went for the miasma-theory thought that putting fragrances in the 'beaks' of their plague masks could protect them. How does the miasma theory fit in with the current pandemic, and what role does scent play in death ceremonies?


Odorama 38: The Fumes of Death
Thursday, 25th of June
Start 20:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

Tickets: Full price €7,50 | Artist / Student / Stadspas €5,25 | +€2,50 at the door | (including €1 administration fee)

*We give a discount to students and artists. If this applies to you we will ask to see your kvk nr/portfolio or student card for this option. For questions please send an email to