The Good Taste

Odorama 21 - with Garmt Dijksterhuis, Mariëlla Beukers, Marieke Hendriksen, Sanne Groeneveld and RUIK

21 dec 2017

Food and drinks are not consumed for their taste alone. Did you know wine was not always meant for enjoyment but was also believed to cure mental and physical illnesses like headaches and melancholia? What other (un)conscious processes are involved in constituting taste? Curious visitors joined us for this pre-christmas edition of Odorama to sip on a historical feel-good wine within the aroma of a famous (invisible) Christmas tree!

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smelling the invisible tree - Anisa Xhomaqi

Odorama is a collaboration between Mediamatic and Caro Verbeek.

Taste and the senses

Taste is not isolated at the the tongue or in the eye of the beholder. Moreover, it stands as a sensory amalgam. On this crossroads, what constitutes good taste? Or rather, who determines good taste and with what criteria? Before we settle down at this year’s Christmas table and indulge in easy sensorial stimulants, this edition of Odorama takes a historical-psychological route into the psychology of smell and taste.


Collective smelling at Odorama -

Garmt Dijksterhuis

What makes ‘good food’ good, and how does the interplay between taste, smell and psychological factors influence our overall sensory perception? Many books address good food, but few go deeper, explaining the processes behind smelling and tasting. During this Odorama, psychologist, Garmt Dijksterhuis will talk about his new book ‘Hoe smaakt het?’ (‘How does it taste?’, written in Dutch) to address many more interactions during eating. Not only sense and smell, but flavour, the working of the nose and olfactory (cross-) adaptation, the use of odorants, the relation between emotion and eating, and many more are involved. During this Odorama, Garmt helps you understand why you like and eat food, and talks about the intriguing complexity of the area.


Garmt Dijksterhuis during his talk - Anisa Xhomaqi

Mariëlla Beukers

Unlike the French and Italians, the Dutch do not exactly have a long tradition as wine-experts. Even so, there is a lot to say about the relationship between the wet-lands and the drink. In Roman times, the Dutch imported wines and in the 17th century, there were vineyards connected to rich country houses. During this Odorama, Mariëlla Beukers talks about this rather unknown history. 


Mariëlla Beukers during her talk - Anisa Xhomaqi

Marieke Hendriksen

Wine has not always been used solely for its rich taste and other benefits. In the 18th century, a lot of wine was of poor quality, and was used for medicinal purposes. This cheap wine was often sweetened to make it more accessible. Historian of Art and Science, Marieke Hendriksen, is interested in the materiality of past medical sciences and researches the way in which ordinary people made their own medicine. Curious how this tasted? During this Odorama, Marieke invites the audience to taste some of these medicinal wines together.


Marieke Hendriksen during her talk - Anisa Xhomaqi

Sanne Groeneveld

Dinner parties as we know them now, have been developed through centuries, mainly by European royalty. To prolong the social function of dinners, they refined the After Dinner Experience. During this Odorama, Smell enthusiast Sanne Groeneveld will dive into the social functions of smelling and tasting together.


Sanne Groeneveld during his talk - Anisa Xhomaqi


Every year in Amsterdam, a giant Christmas tree lights up on Dam Square. After Christmas, this 90 year old tree was on its way to the shredder. Boye and Noëlle from RUIK saved the enormous tree and distilled its smell to create DEN. How did they turn 1028 kilo’s of twigs into a perfume that people would want to wear? During this Odorama they will enlighten us on the transformation from tree to perfume and they bring their own pine oil to smell. 


RUIK presenting their project - Anisa Xhomaqi



DEN 50 ml perfume by RUIK - Perfume distilled from christmas tree on Dam Square



Odorama: The Good Taste
Thursday 21 December
Program starts at 20:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €7,50 pre-sale | €10 door | €5 Students (incl. Administration fee)