NeusWijzer - all of the Dutch Smells

Odorama with the authors of NeusWijzer - Geuratlas van de Lage Landen

12 Oct 2023

Scents colour our lives. They give us flavour, bring memories to life, seduce, evoke emotion, desire, disgust and fear. But what do we really know about scents? What Dutch words do we have to express our olfactory experiences? What are the most aromatic sites in the Netherlands? Is there such a thing as fragrance heritage? 

For this edition of the Odorama, a team of scientists and artists will dive into the Scents of the Netherlands accompanied by scents specially composed by Frank Bloem.



NeusWijzer book cover -

Join the Celebration

Experience the scents, listen to the fascinating stories from six speakers, and celebrate the launch of NeusWijzer - Geuratlas van de Lage Landen. This is a new atlas of scents of the Netherlands by Caro Verbeek and Inger Leemans. Learn more about the book here.


Frank Bloem (Moderator)

Frank Bloem moderates this evening and kicks off with 'Hollandse Luchten': a short introduction about scent artists, such as Wim T. Schippers with his famous peanut butter floor and Job Koelewijn with his eucalyptus-scented installations.

Why was shit once associated with cologne? Frank Bloem will speak on the stinky history of Boldootkar and other things that smell, such as excretions of the civet cat and the Haarlemmer oil (Haarlemmerolie).


Wim T schippers Pindakaasvloer - Wim T schippers Pindakaasvloer photo by Colin Huizing

Inger Leemans

Inger Leemans is a professor of cultural history at the VU. She will bring us an ode to the Dutch sent-palette. The climate of our cold and damp "kikkerlandje" has pushed the Dutch to create a broad vocabulary to describe dampness and humidity. More specifically the smells they introduce.

Sophie Elpers

What scents do the Dutch find important in everyday life? And how do we preserve something so fragile as the scent of heritage? Sophie Elpers is an expert in Intangible Cultural Heritage and will introduce typical Dutch scent practices, such as flower parades, and rituals such as drinking coffee. 


Van Nelle's pakjes koffie. Heerlijke koffie. - Van Nelle's pakjes koffie. Heerlijke koffie. 1928. Wikimedia Commons.

Astrid Groot

Astrid Groot is a professor of Population and Evolutionary biology at the University of Amsterdam. She poses the question; can we smell love? Astrid will take us on a journey through the world of pheromones and biodiversity. How do fermions affect the behavior of moths and other insects? Do people also have fermions? What do they have to do with sex?  

Garmt Dijksterhuis

‘Geuren bewaken onze levens, veelal zonder dat we het in de gaten hebben’ is as well known saying from Ep Köster (1931-1922) a professor of experimental psychology who specializes in the sense of smell and odor memory. It can roughly be translated to ‘smell punctuates our lives, often without us knowing’. Köster has presented at Odorama, and is whom ‘NeusWijzer’ is dedicated to, as both artists and scientists in their field owe a lot to his work. His former student, Garmt Dijksterhuis, researches the perception of eating. He will take us into the history of Dutch philosophers, including Hendrik Zwaardemaker. 


Girl in the audience smelling a scent distributed during the lecture of Odorama: Scent and Well-being. - Margherita Soldati


Full price €12.50 | *Discount price €8.75

*We give a discount to students, artists and Stadspas holders. If this applies to you we might ask to see your kvk nr/portfolio or student card for this option.


12 of October, 20:00-22:00

This event will be held in Dutch.