Kitchen Cabinet Smell Sessions

With art and smell historian Caro Verbeek

12 May 2021
26 May 2021

How does the smell of nail polish remind of an artwork of Bernini? What story does the smell of laurel tells about Napoleons time? And which role plays the smell of peanut butter in Dutch art history?

During three online sessions, smell and art historian Caro Verbeek will talk about years of art history through smells that you can find in your own kitchen! Watch, listen and smell along! 

Tickets 12th of May / Tickets 19th of May / Tickets 26th of May / Facebook


21-07-2018 Digital Smell during the Olfactory Wiki-thon - This Olfactory wiki-thon is part of the Open Sourcing Smell Culture weekend. It i s a year-long collaborative program between the  Institute for Art and Olfaction ,  Pochpac  and Mediamatic that   explores alternative attribution and sharing strategies   for the perfume industry. The program  will take the shape of workshops and working groups, and will culminate in 2019 with the publication of a set of recommendations for open source methodologies in scent creation, perfumery, and related… Saskia Wilson-Brown



Three Wednesdays at 16:00, 45 minutes

Session 1 - 12th of May
Smelly art of the Low Lands

We discuss the role of scent in art and philosophy. Then we explore a sub-category of olfactory art that is very Dutch: that of artworks that are not on a pedestal, but strewn across the floor, by Job Koelewijn, Wim T. Schippers and herman de vries. See, hear and smell all about it and gather the following ingredients:

1. Peanut butter
2. Eucalyptus (for colds or candy)/ Vick’s vaporub
3. Lavender
4. Optional: Zwitsal baby powder

Session 2 – 19th of May
The smell of victory / the smell of wars 

Wars are incredibly malodorous with the occasional and very welcome breaths of fresh air. And then of course there is the smell of victory which was a literal smell used in antiquity to honour heroes. We'll also talk about the battle of Waterloo and Napoleons favourite perfume. Collect:

1. Laurel licorice (laurierdrop)/ bayleaves/ laurel leaves
2. Eau de Cologne 4711
3. Rosemary

Session 3 – 26th of May
The smell of diseases / the smell of health

For millennia doctors have tried to fight diseases – that were thought to manifest as bad smells - with fragrances. Many terms such as ‘malaria’ (mal’aria means bad air) are a reminder of this strategy, as are a whole range of scented objects such as pomanders, prayer nuts and powdered wigs. Besides that they also tried to diagnose and treat diseases with smell. We still use the sense of smell to recognise diseases but instead of medical professionals, dogs are now trained to recognise them. Many of the ingredients used to fight the plague are still to be found in our kitchen cabinets. See, hear and smell all about it and collect:

1. Vinegar
2. Nail polish remover/ spray paint
3. Nutmeg/ rosemary/ cinnamon/ cloves/ lavender


Full price €5 | Artist/student/stadspas €3,50 per session
Tickets 12th of May
Tickets 19th of May
Tickets 26th of May


Kitchen Cabinet Smell Sessions with Caro Verbeek
May 12, 19 and 26, 16:00-16:45
Hosted via Zoom. You will receive the link one hour in advance.
This presentation will be given in English.

For further questions please email
Read our small print here.