The Head of the VOC Visiting a Geisha

This is a room with the Japanese smells that the head of the VOC was presumeably smelling in Japan about 400 years ago.

[A] Geisha cosmetics available for the public to wear




Ueda has developed 8 fragrant cosmetics that geisha's were presumeably wearing.

>>> view the geisha cosmetics

[B] Live performances in the room installation

In some weekends 'a real geisha' lives in this room with wearing the smells. (cosplay / costume-play)





[C] Head-mounted olfactory display

This is a smell interface that Ueda has developed. In the box you can smell those scents that the head of the VOC was smelling in Japan. (Self-made extracts are being used.)




smell 1: camphor

The smell of these trees can be found everywhere in Japan, especially around the Shinto shrines. It cools you down in the terribly hot and humid summer. The aromatic crystals that Japanese people obtain from this bark have the same smell as to Borneol but are much cheaper. Therefore we, the VOC, have marketed this product as an alternative to Borneol, with great success. We trade this product for spices like clove and cinnamon.

- The head of the VOC commenting on the smell of camphor -

smell 2: agarwood

This smell surrounds the geisha house and invites me to enter it. They appear to burn this wood permanently as incense. It permeates the entire red light district. It makes me feel relaxed and excited at the same time.

- The head of the VOC commenting on the smell of agarwood -

smell 3: teeth enamel water

Geisha's paint their teeth black with this liquid every morning as a ritual. Since this liquid emits a pungent smell, my geisha finishes her ritual before I wake up, so that I won't smell it. I asked her what the liquid is made from, and she answered, tea leaves, fermented rice, syrup, rusted metal, and insect-induced tree excretion. When she bares her black teeth in a smile, they protrude so much that they make me think of a vampyre.

- The head of the VOC commenting on the smell of teeth enamel water -