Distilling a Scent Bouquet

with Frank Bloem

19 jan 2020

Finding ways to trap smells in a bottle was a quest that went on for ages, until distillation was discovered. Distillation is an ancient process that has long been used to extract essential oils from biological materials like fruits, spices, or even hair! During this 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, with the help of olfactory artist Frank Bloem and the Aroma Lab team.



Frank explaining the distillation machine - Alice Gimpel


What you will do?

In this workshop, you will be introduced to the history of distillation and some methods that we use here. With the plants that grow on the Mediamatic grounds and the 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 with 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 the right plants to use, and 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.

This is a hands-on workshop, where you will get to play around with different materials and methods of distillation. 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 the 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: Distilling a Scent Bouquet

Sunday 19th of January, 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.