Organized by: Wonder Art Production 2009 森のアート海のゲイジュツ

I find smells in a forest and extract them together with the children of age 7 – 12 on-site. We share  inspirations and wonders.

What do you smell now?

Where does it come from?

How would you describe the smell?

Why does it smell and what you smell?

We find the different smells of flower, leaf, tree bark, root, sand, mud, animal shit, etc. About 20 different scents are extracted. (the same amount as the participants)

Morning: Walking in the Shakujii Park(石神井公園), collecting materials

Afternoon: Extracting at Chihiro Museum (岩崎ちひろ美術館)

The extracted smells are exhibited as SMELL BAR at: Mitaka City Museum 




- a bar for sniffing -

site specific research / installation (2010)

Electric-Eclectics Festival, Meaford, Canada on 01-03.08.2008.


Maki Ueda will research and find interesting local scents, and extract them on-site. The goal is to find the local and original scents; the scent of daily life, food, drinks, materials, persons, and environment. Because of the evaporating character of the smell molecules, scents cannot be

preserved very long, and therefore it's preferable to work local. Maki Ueda has been making a series of the perfume works under the name “Aromatic Journey” ( These works focus on the local, extraordinary scents. The local culture is being explored and experienced by means of scent. The results are not a perfume to wear, but to smell and trigger one's imagination.


[extraction during the festival]

Maki Ueda will extract the scents of the chosen subject in a mini-laboratory installed in a caravan. The visitors can visit the caravan and observe the extraction process, and off course they can smell the scents-in-progress.






The premier of SMELL BAR was presented at the Electric Eclectic Festival 08, Meaford, Canada in August 2008.

SMELL BAR is a bar for sniffing. The bottles on the bar counter are at your disposal. You can sniff them from the bottles or with the perfume strips. It is an installation with which you can smell and experience the local smells.

The each smell is extracted manually from materials found in the environment. Thus they together form the environmental smell as collective.

In the fieldwork the environment is being explored and experienced by means of smell. Then the smells are extracted freshly on-site. It's because that the preservation of natural smell is almost impossible because of the character of the smell molecules: they are easy to viporate and decay. This work is not site-specific, but the extracts have to be made on-time on-site. The results are not a perfume to wear, but to smell and trigger one's emotion and imagination.
These smells below were found and extracted for the Meaford version.


  • No. 1 White Clover (oil)
  • No. 2 Red Clover (oil)
  • No. 3 Spruce Leaves (oil)
  • No. 4 Pine Leaves (water distillation)
  • No. 5 Yew (tincture)
  • No. 6 Pine Leaves (tincture)
  • No. 7 Grass (tincture)
  • No. 8 White Clover (tincture)
  • No. 9 Queen Anne's Lace (tincture)
  • No.10 Pink Clover (tincture)
  • ….
  • No.19 Grass (oil)
  • No.20 Spruce Leaves (soxhlet extraction)

fieldwork: researching smells in the environment

The festival was taking place in a farm environment called 'funny farm'. The map indicates where the smelly materials were collected.








extraction process

The natural energy as sun light and the warm temperature was used for extracting the smells as much as possible.










bar counter & mobile lab










 - how to smell what you smell - 

workshop (2010)





Smell as if you listen!


Kõdõ, one of the three classical Japanese arts as tea ceremony, is a gathering of appreciating incense and sharing emotions and imaginations with the people living in different time and space. A Japanese olfactory artist Maki Ueda holds her original and artistic Kõdõ ceremony.



組香: Looking for Truffles (トリュフを探しに)

photos: Lucia Guglielmetti

組香: Looking for Truffles (トリュフを探しに)

伽羅 試無 本一   Truffle  トリュフ   
羅国 試一 本一   White mushroom マッシュルーム 
真南蛮 試一 本一  Porcini ポルチニ
真 那賀 試一 本一  Poisonous red mushroom 赤い毒キノコ
佐曽羅 試一 本一  Shiitake 椎茸
寸 聞多羅 試一 本一 Magic mushroomマジック・マッシュルーム





"YUJO MONKOHZU" by NAGAHARU MIYAGAWA : a prostitute feeling tipsy while perfuming her own kimono with the incense.




  • One session lasts about an hour.
  • Subscription required.
  • Max. 10 participants per session
  • Please don't wear perfume.

program :

  • introduction of Kodo
  • smelling game (1) olfactory travel all around the world
  • smelling game (2) - Horse Rase (Kurabeuma Koh)

date & time:

Sun. 17/10/2010

  • session (1) 15:00-16:00
  • session (2) 17:00-18:00
  • session (3) 19:00-20:00


LantarenVenster (NEW LOCATION) / Rotterdam

Artistenfoyer (1st floor)




one-hour olfactory walking workshop(2009)



  • re-finding of the area from smell perspective
  • becoming more aware of the sense of smell
  • getting to know the connections between the nature and our modern lives. example: the oak moss found on the tree bark is extracted and used a lot in perfumes, etc.


date: 23 & 24, Aug 2009

Kooipark, Leiden, The Netherlands



View in Google Map:




Pine tree - the most common tree in Dutch nature. Rub the leaves - you'll smell a refreshing fragrant as lemon, orange, and mint.

Let's smell the childen of pine tree too! Is it similar to the leaves or not?

With the rose as example, I've explained the various ways of retrieving essential oils from natural materials.

'Kampafoelie' in Dutch. Smells like lily, jasmine, and rose.

This pretty yellow flower should smell good - but it actually does not smell at all! Instead the leaves well. Smell of black pepper, grape, orange. Gourmand smell.

"This smells like orange!"

'Klimop' in Dutch. This grows everywhere in this country. The flower smells like Japanese 'fuki' - fatty, stinky smell. Reminds me of one autumn evening of Holland.

Vlinderstrook - flowers that Dutch people love. Compare the white one and purple one. The white one smell a touch of vanilla, like a virgin. The purple one smells more sexy.

Rozenbottel leaves smell like apple.

This one looks like mint, but its smell is nothing comparable to mint!
"Wow, what a strange smell!"
"This smell reminds me of something..."
"Yes... like an animal shop"
"Right, like a bird cage"

Thinking alone about the scent often doesn't lead to anywhere, but thinking together like a game leads to the idea of similar smell that we know. Very interesting!


I'm thankful to Marjan van Gerwen / Wijken voor Kunst / De Laekenhal, who gave me this opportunity. Thank you very much!



- extraction & composition of flavours -

workshop (2008)



Food pairing, a widely accepted concept in the molecular gastronomy scene, explores the potential of unacquainted food combinations - grapefruit with cardamon, carrot and bitter orange peel - to create new tasting experiences.

Maki Ueda developed her own mysterious ways of extracting smells from raw materials in a kitchen environment throughout her career. As artist in residence at FoAM, she was challenged to share her fascination in a hands-on workshop focusing both on smell and taste. Could both ways of sensing be combined with the art of composition in perfumery, the art of finding the right matches and balancing between hundreds of aromatic ingredients?

A natural smell is often extracted from a material using chemistry techniques for retrieving essential oils, such as distillation, ethanol extraction, or oil maceration. For the Edible Perfume workshop, these techniques were adopted in the kitchen. In a temporary laboratory setup, the participants experienced the complete process of extracting aromas and flavours from edible raw ingredients, in order to recompose them into new culinary substances.

Every participant was asked to bring two edible materials: a 'he' and a 'she' as part of a food couple. Each material was to be extracted separately and then mixed together into one edible perfume. The challenge for the participants was to find the right balance of the two elements , giving birth to complex and surprising scents; the children of the 'he' and 'she' ingredients.

The following food couplings were created during the workshop:

  • almond & grapefruit 
  • cardamom & orange 
  • vanilla & parmesan 
  • star anise & banana 
  • clove & mandarin 
  • ginger & turmeric.

The participants have witnessed the process in which the aromas get separated from the tissues of the materials and absorbed in the medium. The result was evaluated both by smelling and tasting.A lively discussion ensued – where does our sense of taste and flavour originate; what is this mysterious area linking the cavities of our noses and mouths that can sense such subtleties of aromas and flavours? The group agreed that he sensation of edible perfume created was neither taste, nor smell alone, butsomething ephemeral, an experience in-between the senses.




















1. Process the material and make it as fine as possible

Use whatever tool you can find in a kitchen to peel, crush, shred or cut the ingredients into the smallest possible particles. The smaller the particles, the shorter the extraction time.

2. Choose the right medium and right temperature

There are different ways of extracting smells in general: such as distillation, hot/cold maceration, solvent extraction, enfleurage. The most appropriate technique to apply is hot / cold maceration, common for making garlic-flavoured olive oil. In order to make the extracts 'edible', 40% VOL vodka or non-flavoured, odor-neutral vegetable oil can be used as a medium. We used Grapeseed and soy oil. Vodka or oil can only extract a part of the whole bandwidth of smells that the ingredient contains.

Extracting temperature is another factor. Certain temperatures can extract certain bandwidths of smells, depending on the ingredient. Experimentation is the message!

3. Stuff it in a jar and heat it for 1 hour

Place your ingredient in a jar, pour vodka or oil over the material (not too much, just enough to cover the surface), close it half way and heat it au bain-marie, keeping 70 degrees Celsius. 70 degrees is the temperature where oil does not change its flavour and is just below the boiling point for vodka. (Use an electric hotplate for heating because vodka is flammeable.)

In case of citrus and orange - which cannot resist the heat - they should just be mildly shaken in the jar at room temperature. The time needed for extraction depends on the material, however 1 hour is generally more than enough to extract enough amount of smell molecules for your nose and tongue to detect.

4. Filter it

Use a coffee-filter. If the particles are too fine for the filter and cause clogging, rough cotton cloth could be used instead. Stirring can accelerate the process, but it can also introduce impurities in the resulting liquid, so the best thing is just to wait, time allowing.

5. Compose the smells

Should mix ratios be 1:9 or 4:6? There's no universal answer, indication nor rule here. This is where your creativity comes into play. Use your nose and intuition to explore and experiment. To check the result, you can lick it, but smelling it from a paper perfume strip is the best, as smell molecules tend to linger around longer in your mouth than in your nose. If your nose gets confused, smell your own skin to refresh it.

You can enjoy the 'edible perfume' with bread, cracker, or oblaat. Toast!

NOTE: keep your lab well aired. In case you get nauseous, go for a walk in fresh air, and drink a glass of milk.

(edited by: FoAM)



Food pairing:



documentation by FoAM:

instructions for participants:



For the documentations of its development and the workshops given all over the world :



concept, realization : Maki Ueda

production : FoAM Brussels

premier : Open Kitchen / Open Sauces