Here are some extracts from the past interviews.



October 2018, in Hong Kong:


> 1/ Have you been to HongKong? 


Yes, the first time was about 20 years ago. The second time was about 2 years ago.


> 2/ Do you have any impressions or ideas about the smell of Hong Kong?


Yes and no.  I smell something similar to the whole Chinise cultural area like Singapore and Shanghai, so they might not be specific to HK much. Also I smell the sewage everywhere.  This is often the case in the big cities.  Olfaction is very personal and Im just a visitor. You might know it better if you live in HK.


> 3/ As we know, you have been involved some art project which related to City, Can the fragrance be used as an angle to understand and observe a city? 


Yes and no.  Its too easy to generalize that the scent A" is something specific to HK. It might be the case in the other cities too.  We live in the best time of mobilization ever.  It makes us harder to find the original and characteristic scents of the cities.  Thats why people like making questions such as Whats our unique scents in this city? I guess.  In my art projects Im showing this dilemma and contradictions.  



October 2014,  Interviewer: Camilla Maurer      


> What meaning does smell have for you?


It's simply a medium for me.


> Can you tell me about a situation where scent was important for you. (Childhood)


I was composing a pot-poulli as a hobby.  It was trendy in the herb scene in Japan. That was my first introduction to composition.


> Do you experience visual dominance?


Yes.  For smelling the visual over-rules everything too.


> From which discipline are you coming? 


Informatica and media study.


> Was there a situation in your life, when you decided to use the sense of smell as a medium for your art?


A couple of years after I gave a birth, I started olfactory art.


> How do you handle the problem of not having precise words with which to discuss smell or scent?  Or do you think Nederlande or Japan are more precise words for smell? Explain in detail.


I don't find that smell is special in that sense.  To discuss about sound or light, it's also difficult to say if we have the precise words for them.  The sensation is very personal.


> Which was your first olfactory smell-work you realized? Was war deine erste Geruchsarbeit die du realisiert hast?


Menu for the Nose.


> Does your work have a common main theme? I meen you starded with cultural themes, cities, victims , scent of lands, japanese woman, labyrinth...


> No, every work is different.


> Do you think that knowing about smell helps us know more about the world?  Is knowledge power in your definition?


Certainly.  Your perspective becomes totally different if you start exploring the world by the olfactory sense.


> Hypothesis: Do you have an Idea why in the 21. Century Artists decide to work with smell?


I think many artists also worked with smell in the 20th century, like The Futurist and Duchamp.  Not a very new thing for the artists.


> Which possibilities and constraints do you see in working with smell?


We cannot preserve the work like a sculpture. Therefore we cannot "sell" the work. That keeps the art-form alive and vibrant.


> If you could invent a system to make categories for “good” and “bad” smell, what would it look like? What meaning does smell have in belgien culture, particularly in your City?


I think again it's very personal... but if I would, "physically accepted" or "physically not accepted" would be the category.  The latter ones would cause physical reactions as vomiting.


> Do you think sympathy or antipathy of smell is set at birth, or is it learned?




> Important:

What is possible with olfactory art as compared to visual art?


Time and space based experiences. The experience of the moment is never the same.


> Hypothesis: Why do you think many people trust the visual sense more than their nose?


The visual sense is good at creating comfort by offering information on distance.

On the contrary, the olfactory sense creates discomfort because the receiver is forced to take the chemical substance in the body (nostril).


> If you have to name a similar discipline in art, would you say olfactory art is more like music or more like performance?


Olfactory art is very much like music.  Music is time-based art.  And olfactory art has space aspect to it.


> Do you see it critical that many artists need  the help, knowledge and interpretation of professional perfumers or chemists ? If they want to realize something with smell?


I don't necessarily think so but I personally do not want to limit myself in exploration in the medium.  If you ask someone to help, you're very limited.


> Do you work with IFF or any others company  or "only" with the material an the extracts? 


Sometimes Steven Pearce at Omega Ingredients helps me by supplying materials.


> You used kodo for some academic works, why?


It is a good example of "olfactory game". 


> What is the main difference you think, if you create a perfum or a scent for an exibition? Or do you think there is one? Because you also make perfumes (7smell, scnet of holland, ..)


The perfumes I made for the exhibitions are not to be worn as perfume, but to be smelled.





1- How you define your practice/research?


I'm researching on the sense of smell, and the smell / odor / scent.  My challenge is to use them as a medium in art.  The sense of smell is one of the most instinctive sense in the body, and has the instant connection to our imaginations and memories.  I got interested in this field since I was working before with the digital media researching on the remote/global awareness.  The smell / odor / scent travels beyond time and space, directly contacting one's image and memory.  These characters of smell as a medium is something totally different from that of the digital media.  



2- Why to experiment in Architecture?


The scent as a medium naturally has a spacial character like the architecture has.  I have once worked on perfuming the space for the dance performance.  From monitoring how the audience react, I am convinced that a big part of the human behavior is actually driven unconsciously by the scent. In that extent I see the common factors with the architecture.  So the experimentation of the audience's behavior in the scented space/architecture would be very interesting.



3- Which perception do you have of the use of creativity in your practice/research?


If I can invent a new way of using a medium that communicates well with the audience, or if I can create a totally original medium on, I would evaluate my work 'creative'.



4- How the studio is an important element for the final achievement?


The scent is something super local - the molecule evaporates quickly and fades away before saving it in the harddisc.  So working in the studio somewhere means, for me, focusing on the local scent.  For example, If I would work in Portugal, I would work with some Portugal-original scent.  And its result would become something totally not produceable anywhere else.


5- What are your current topics of interest in these fields?


Scenting / Perfuming the space, and experiment with the human behavior.  I'd like to create such a space where the audience explore with their nose (only!).






place: LOFTWORK (Tokyo, Japan)
















If you wish to be updated with my activities, please send me an email to olfactoryart [at]  

I will then add you to my ML that I issue 2-3 times a year.

年に2〜3回のペースで、活動報告のメールをお送りしています。MLへの登録ご希望の方は olfactoryart [at]


- an olfactory boat-trip -

site specific, open air intervention/performance (2010)





Do you smell a field of rose flowers, or do you smell the scent of a beautiful woman? SMELL X ILLUSION is a boat-trip where new smells are being added to the existing environment. While you proceed through the Dordrecht harbours you perceive these smells and automatically you develop relationships between the smell and the environment.

SMELL X ILLUSION makes use of existing smells that are being presented in a different context. The audience is being challenged to enjoy the imaginations and illusions that appear because, wether we want it or not, always try to create a coherent world out of the perceptions of one and another sense. The 'fluisterboot' takes you on a trip along the back-sides of houses, shops and restaurants in the city centre of the medieval Dordrecht. These form the set for a challenging expedition.


SMELL x ILLUSION is een rondvaart door Dordrecht waarbij nieuwe geuren aan de bestaande omgeving toegevoegd worden. Terwijl je door de havens van dordrecht vaart neem je deze geuren waar en leg je automatisch verbanden tussen beide.

SMELL x ILLUSION maakt gebruik van bestaande geuren die in een andere context gepresenteerd worden. Het publiek wordt uitgedaagd om te genieten van de verbeeldingen en illusies die onstaan doordat we, of we het willen of niet, een coherente wereld proberen te maken uit de waarnemingen van het ene en het andere zintuig. De 'fluisterboot' neemt je mee op een tocht langs de achterkanten van huizen, winkels en restauranten in centrum van het middeleeuwse Dordrecht. Deze vormen het decor voor een uitdagende expeditie.



Urban Explorers Festival in Dordrecht, The Netherlands

May 21, 22, 23, 2010

Info point: Centrum Beeldende Kunst

Touristic info about the boat trip: De Stroper












The boat trip was lasting one hour. It sailed through the canals of the medieval Dordrecht city center.  Time to time different scents were sprayed in the air with a sort of paint spray gun connected to an air tank.  The scents were sometimes "matching" to the environment, but sometimes not, to create a nice surprise.




20 scents were developed, partly by manual extraction from the materials.  The scents were sprayed in the air with a sort of paint spray connected to an air tank.



  1. lavender
  2. french fries (self extract)
  3. coffee (Omega Ingredients)
  4. banana (Omega Ingredients)
  5. Suriname's TOKO
  6. Robijn(raw)
  7. myrrhe
  8. seaweed (self extract)
  9. rose
  10. beer (raw)
  11. pizza (self extract)
  12. cognac (raw)
  13. chocolate (Omega Ingredients)
  14. cardamon (Omega Ingredients)
  15. speculaas spices (self extract)
  16. coconut
  17. camphor
  18. BBQ chicken (self extract)
  19. Chanel 5 (raw)
  20. zwitsal (raw)








More documentations regarding development:



Omega Ingredients

Used Compressor

Oxalis Atindriyaratri

Edwin van der Heide

De Stroper

world preimer: V2_ Institute for Unstable Media

15.03.2012, event name: Smell This!


V2's page on the event Smell This!


OLFACTO (= olfactory) SCAPE (= scenery)

OLFACTOSCAPE is an invisible panorama painting. It's a 3m diameter space created with a curtain. The walls are "painted" with smells.

Perfume is a composition of multiple ingredients, often more than a hundred. Making a perfume is like making a piece of music: creating a harmony with multiple tones. In this version of the OLFACTOSCAPE, independent components (aromatic ingredients) of Chanel No. 5 are separately placed (sprayed) at the different locations. If you stand in the middle point of the space, you would smell the "harmony." If you walk along the curtain, you would smell the "individual tones." The intention is thus, to deconstruct the Chanel No. 5, and to reconstruct it again.

Enter the space, close your eyes, walk and sniff like a dog. Some scents come closer to you, while others fade away. When do you smell the "harmony" and when do you smell the "individual tones?" Do the scents navigate you instead of you navigating yourself? Is there any scent that attracts you, or that makes you want to approach?

This project is supported by Omega Ingredients and







A multi-sensorial perception of space - ‘Olfactoscape’ by Maki Ueda

A review by Caro Verbeek, an art historian

(cited from


‘Because we have two nostrils and because we can move, we are able to perceive smells in stereo and navigate through a space by inhaling’

Eyes closed, hands on the circularly arranged cloth hanging from the ceiling, concentrated on the olfactory clues sprayed on the textile in front of me, I slowly make my way through Maki Ueda’s ‘Olfactoscape’. ‘Chanel no. 5 deconstructed’ it said in the announcement. Suddenly an obtrusive smells hits me like a brick wall. I knew this was coming, but still it’s incredibly overwhelming; pure animalistic and deeply penetrating musk! Without hesitating I take one step back. It’s still there. Recovering from the first shock I am turning slightly to the left as it disappears. Nothing now. I move closer to the smooth flexible wall counter-clockwise. This brings me back to the more pleasant less pungent aroma I perceived one minute earlier. This one is less volatile, has less volume so to speak. By shifting my weight from one foot to another I try to find the exact border between the two. And there it is! Sharp like a knife. Apparently movement facilitates a spatial perception of odour to such a level that it becomes a floating and clearly defined shape.


‘Because we have two nostrils and because we can move, we are able to perceive smells in stereo and navigate through a space by inhaling’, Maki Ueda tells the audience before inviting them to visit ‘Olfactoscape’ during the V2 ‘Smell this’ event on the 15th of March. ‘Remember to keep your eyes closed and to move slowly’, she adds with a serious expression on her face. ‘Olfacto’ referring to the sense of smell and ‘scape’ to a landscape, this circular installation containing the most important components of the famous Chanel no. 5, enables visitors to experience space by one of our most underrated senses. ‘Why did you choose this type of construction’ one curious bystander remarks. Ueda: ‘When you stand in the middle, you perceive the harmony, that’s why this installation is organized as a circle, although a labybrinth or a rectangular narrow space would have been interesting as well’.


‘This was the first modern perfume’, she continues. ‘All perfumers educated now have to be able to reproduce it’. Chanel no. 5 is a so-called signature perfume. Its origins are surrounded by myths. One of the stories is that of a perfume mixer that somehow overdosed on aldehydes and ‘boom’: the birth of the first modern perfume, which - supposedly by mistake - has an extremely characteristic aroma. When isolated, these aldehydes are somewhat unpleasant and ‘fatty’ as Maki describes them.


Most of us are familiar with the fact that odours that are perceived as foul or hideous when secluded, turn out to pleasant and (wildly) attractive when covered with floral or fruity top notes. Musk and indole (to be found in human feces and associated with prostitutes at that time) are suddenly acceptable by upper class women when combined with vanilla or citrus. Chanel no. 5 is one of these layered almost schizophrenic perfumes. By deconstructing and grouping the most important ingredients, the artist presents to us a three-dimensional version of the most famous perfumes of all times. She allows us to smell the less agreeable odorants separately, exposing the bare naked femme fatale (base notes) underneath the civilized dressed up lady at the surface (top and middle notes). This makes it a bit like watching a scary movie. You know something is about to happen, but you can’t predict when. But your body knows before your mind.


Beside this more conceptual layer, there is a poetic and purely sensual aspect to the work which one can exclusively become aware of while experiencing this aromatic landscape. It forces you to combine several of your senses as if they were one: touch, smell and proprioception or kinaesthesia. A kinaesthetic experience is usually conceived by sight and even sound in combination with movement. This less well known sense tells us what our position is in a defined space. The unique circumstances provided by Olfactoscape, hand us the possibility to navigate through space with our hands, nose and body. The knowledge of the presence of certain ingredients, such as indole, aldehydes and musk, offers an extra dimension. Once you perceive them, being aware of the fact that your body almost described 360 degrees by this point, they function as a grand finale.


After exchanging the darkness and consolation of the installation for ‘neutral’ air and sharp electric light I am in a complete different state of mind. The mindful and multi-sensorial journey through Chanel no. 5 definitely left its mark on me.

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