A Vocabulary of Fragrance

Odorama 03 - with Sofie Albrecht, Ilja Croijmans, Caro Verbeek

10 dec 2015

Whether derived from nature, or chemically constructed, odourant molecules have the ability to profoundly effect our behaviour, emotions and associations. At Odorama we’ll actively engage with our senses and explore everything that reaches and effects the nose.
Why is it so hard to describe a smell in words? And how can you find your own personal perfume? This evening we'll discuss the vocabulary of fragrance.

Food at 18:00, talks begin at 20:00
Facebook event


Odorama // Vocabulary of Fragrances - How do you describe fragrances?

Sofie Albrecht

How to describe the scents you like? Sofie Albrecht, also known as the Perfume Doctor, is one of the few perfume experts from Belgium. Recently she published the book 'Parfumwijzer' in which she uses images to describe fragrances rather than a list of ingredients. With this she helps people in their search to find the perfect personal perfume. Along with the book there is now a pop-up store in Antwerp where you can go for your perfume profile.

Ilja Croijmans

In western languages, it is notoriously hard to put olfactory experiences into words. Think for example about the smell of your favourite perfume or beverage, and now try to put this into words. In contrast, various groups of experts (e.g. oenologists, perfumers or coffee tasters), are able to name and identify odours. The question then is how experts are able to do this, i.e. what makes them different from novices regarding olfactory language. This is what Ilja Croijmans is researching currently.


Spilled wine - can you describe the smell? - How would you describe the smell of spilled wine? Which words would you use? In the third Odorama event, Ilya Croijmans speaks about his phd-research in olfactory language.

Caro Verbeek

Caro Verbeek will introduce us to Futurism and its founder: M.T. Marinetti. The futurists was the first avant-garde artist group using scent in their performances, poetry, toys and other works of art. As futurism came in to existence as a literary movement there was a lot of thought about methods of expressing scents in language and image.


Odorama: A vocabulary of fragrance
Thursday 10 December
Food at 18:00, Talks begin at 20:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €8,50 (inc. Mediamatic Membership) / €3,50 for members.
Students pay only €5,00

Please note that this talk is in English