Distilling a Scent Bouquet

with Frank Bloem

8 dec 2019

Finding ways to trap smells in a bottle was a quest that went on for ages, and then - fortunately - distillation was discovered! Distillation is an ancient process that is used to extract essential oils from biological materials like fruits, spices, or even hair! During the workshop you will be introduced to the history of scent extraction by means of the distillation process, and compose a scent with materials of your choice. Olfactory artist Frank Bloem and the Aroma Lab team will guide you through the process.

Tickets / Facebook


Participants collecting different ingredients for the distillation process -


What you will do?

In this workshop, you will be introduced to the history of distillation and the methods that we use here. With plants that grow on the Mediamatic grounds and materials the participants bring to the table, we will form scent bouquets that will be distilled to an artistic essential oil.

Feel free to get creative with the materials you bring. The Aroma Lab team would love to help you experiment with the process, and you might even be surprised by the result! However, if you don’t have a project in mind, don’t worry - there is plenty of material here that you can draw inspiration from. You can expect a fresh, zesty oil using the materials that we already have here. Throughout this process, expert perfumer and olfactory artist Frank Bloem will help you to understand which plants to use, and how to find a good way to balance your scent. At the end of this workshop, you will take home a tiny bottle of a 10% solution of your own created blend.

Please note: this is a very hands-on workshop, where you will get to play around with different materials and the oil ex tech method. If you are interested in something more information-oriented and would like to learn more about perfumery, the theory behind it and how perfumes are composed, check out Frank’s Composing Fragrance workshop.

Frank Bloem

Frank Bloem is an artist who uses scent as his primary medium. He studied Fine Arts at the Rietveld Academy. In the summer of 2016, Frank changed his focus from visual art to olfactory-based works and started The Snifferoo. This perfume laboratory is a place for education and experiments around scent. He made several personalised perfumes, hosts regular workshops, and has recreated the elephant smell of Artis, the Amsterdam Zoo.

Mediamatic Aroma Lab

Our team at the Aroma Lab works with various materials and several distillation techniques. We use the `oil ex-tech` method to quickly and efficiently distill essential oils from fruits and spices. We also work with a rotovap and a soxhlet extractor. The lab can be explored as part of the open tour - we love to talk about the projects we’re working on!


Workshop: Composing Fragrance in the Distillation process

Sunday 8th of December, 11:00 - 14:00

Tickets: Regular: €70,- | Students/Artists : €49,- | (including €1,- administration fee)
Attendance limited to 12 people. We maintain a minimum of 6 participants. 
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

Please note that (unless everyone speaks Dutch) this workshop will be held in English.