The Male Haze

Odorama 34 - met Boris Raux, Marcello Aspria, Emily Burdfield Steel en Frank Bloem

24 okt 2019
Ruikt een 'echte man' zoals de man in de Axe spotjes? In de Male Haze, zullen Boris Raux, Marcello Aspria, Dr. Emily Burdfield Steel en Frank Bloem mannengeur vanuit cultureel en biologisch perspectief onder de loep nemen.

Tickets / Facebook


Vintage ad for Macho Musk oil -


Geur kan het onzichtbare element van onze persoonlijke stijl zijn en een sterke uitwerking hebben op hoe we worden gezien en onthouden. In een wereld waarin gender nog steeds uit stereotypes bestaat,  lijdt en profiteert de parfumindustrie onder normatieve ideeën rondom geur. In een zoektocht naar het vastleggen van mannengeur vanuit biologisch en cultureel perspectief, stellen we vragen die doen nadenken:

Are there specific smells that make the male body smell different from the female? Which pheromones and chemicals are produced by the male body? What does a group of male soldiers smell like when they come home from a mission? Would a person's scent change during a gender transition? And why does a mens dressing room have such a distinctive odeur? 

This edition of Odorama is curated by Frank Bloem. Odorama is a concept by head curator Caro Verbeek and a collaboration with co-curators Frank Bloem and Sanne Groeneveld.

Marcello Aspria

Marcello Aspria studied Sociology and Gender, Sexuality and Society at the University of Amsterdam. For the best part of a decade he researched gender in perfumery, and wrote on smell culture for various media. In recent years he was secretary to the Board of the Norbert Elias Foundation, and taught social sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus University College, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Webster Campus in Leiden. He pursues a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management, where he researches digitalization in healthcare. 

Emily Burdfield Steel

Emily Burdfield-Steel is an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). She studies the chemical ecology of insects, specifically, how they use scents and odours to attract and locate mates, as well as defend themselves from predators. She is particularly interested in how these different types of communication shape evolutionary processes. She previously worked in both Finland and the UK, and is a founding member of the Evolution in Action project which works to create teaching materials for schools and help people of all ages understand how biological interactions shape and maintain biodiversity.

Boris Raux

From his scientific background the artist Boris Raux kept an intense drive for research. During the past fifteen years, he produces what he calls, The Olfactory Chronicles. He tries endlessly to grasp a better understanding of our world and of our society. This task is obviously impossible so he faces the situation with humour and accepts to lost everything into volatile scents. His practice evolves from four areas of investigation, the common goods, the common places, the uncommon bodies and the common myths to create, nowadays, performative sculptures that might be describe as factories of common olfactory experiences.

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. He started The Snifferoo, a perfume laboratory and a place for education and experiments in the realms of scent. This led to various commissions from personalized perfumes to the recreation of elephant smells for the Amsterdam Zoo.


Odorama: The Male Haze
Friday, the 24th of October
Start 20:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: Full price €7,50 | Artist / Student / Stadspas €5,25 | +€2,50 at the door | (including €1 administration fee)

*We give a discount to students and artists. If this applies to you we will ask to see your kvk nr/portfolio or student card for this option. For questions please send an email to

You will receive a 25% discount on our 3-course menu at Mediamatic ETEN upon presentation of your ticket! O
nly valid on day of event.


"Les portraits olfactifs" - The «olfactory portraits» are portraits of intimacies. They are the results of encounters between an artist and a population, an opportunity to discuss. By asking everyone to show me the cosmetic products he would use every day and by taking the picture in his house, they let me get in their private smelly life. They open to everyone the possibilities to imagine and to realise the smell of their necks, hairs... It not only a projection of the inside to the outside, of the self to the other but… Boris Raux


Greenleaf Classics, A Masculine Scent  - by Marcus Miller and artist Robert Bonfils, Nov '67


The smell of sweat affects humans' interactions -


Presentation about different body smells and smell samples from the elephant intimate body parts. -


Frank Bloem handing around elephant's intimate body parts smell samples. Such a strong smell -


Audience smelling different samples Frank Bloem's presentation -


Audience smelling samples during the presentation -


Marcello Aspria giving his presentation about the history of smell in human history -


Frank Bloem spreading the deodorant with the help of a fan. -


Three of the lecturers enjoying Frank Bloem's introduction -


Audience asking questions during the presentation. There is always space for critical questions - Filippo Iannone