Polyester (1981) with live olfactory performance

Odorama 02 - with Caro Verbeek and a John Waters screening

12 nov 2015

It's Scent-astic! Tonight we will explore the concept of Odorama as
designed for the film Polyester, written and directed by John Waters. Accompanied by an olfactory performance we will experience Smell-O-Vision whilst watching this 1981 cult classic. The movie will be introduced by art historian and olfactory expert Caro Verbeek.

Food at 18:00. Talks begin at 20:00


10 Scents for Polyester - These ingredients will be used in the olfactory performance during the screening of the movie Polyester.


Tonight we will recreate our own olfactory performance whilst viewing the movie Polyester. All scents were designed during the Workshop: Odorama Smell Creation. The concept and smell-o-vision will be introduced by art historian and Odorama-curator Caro Verbeek.


What's that smell? - These combinations of scent's were created during the Odorama olfactory workshop. All scents will be used during the screening of Polyester. These combinations of scents were created during the Odorama olfactory workshop. At this edition of Odorama: The Psychology of smell we will explore smell and taste.


Het verstuiven van een geur tijdens Odorama - Olfactory demonstration during the first edition of Odorama. Odorama verkent het terrein van geur, van geurkunst tot geurblindheid: we stellen de wereld van geur open aan het publiek. Om de verhalen te illustreren verstuiven we tijdens de lezingen geuren door de zaal. Margherita Soldati


John Waters’ 1981 release, Polyester, was the director’s first film with a feasible budget. For the B-list marvel, this meant a chance to experiment with the typical film viewing experience. In Waters’ scandalous nature, Odorama was devised, an olfactory gimmick that incorporated the sense of smell into cinema. In initial Polyester screenings, Odorama scratch-and-sniff cards were distributed and the audience members were instructed to sniff along to the corresponding numbers that appeared on the screen. In doing so, the audience whiffed on-screen odors in-sync with the film’s star Francine Fishpaw, played by Waters’ notorious muse, Divine.


Polyester movie poster - Polyester movie poster, 1981


Odorama explanation by Dr. Arnold Quackenshaw - Polyester is a 1981 American black comedy film directed, produced, and written by John Waters, and starring Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey, and Mink Stole. It was filmed in Waters' native Baltimore, Maryland, and features a gimmick called "Odorama", whereby viewers could smell what they saw on screen through scratch and sniff cards.


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. We will consider olfactory history and design that is experimental and challenging. And introduce you to the fragrance as a work of art in itself.


The smell experiment - A woman is trying out some of the smelly samples during the first edition of Odorama. Margherita Soldati


Food at 18:00, Talks begin at 20.00
Mediamatic Biotoop Dijkspark 6, Amsterdam
Ticket: €8,50,- including Mediamatic Membership (€3,50 for members)

Please note that it's not possible to purchase multiple memberships at once in our webshop.
You can buy your additional membership at the ticketservice.