installation (2015)


[Premier]  24.03.2015. Exhibition"There is something in the air"

[Dates] 24.03.2015. - 

[Place] Museum Villa Rot, Germany


[Concept] Maki Ueda

[Curator] Caro Verbeek

[Supported by] Jean Bouis Perfumery Co., Ltd. 


"The walls are inpregnated with different woody smells: Cedarwood, Olibanum, Patchouli, and Labdanum. Find the exit by folling one scent that starts from the entrance."











installation (2019)

[Premier]  14.02.2019. QUEL FLAIR! EXHIBITION

[Dates] 14.02.2019 - 14.02.2020

[Place] Musee de la Main, Lausanne, Switzerland


[Concept] Maki Ueda

[Curator] Musee de la Main

[Supported by] Firmenich (Geneva)




installation in open air (2018)


Tangible Scents is a finalist for the Art and Olfaction Sadakichi Award for Experimental Work with Scent.
The Art and Olfaction Awards celebrate excellence in global independent and artisan perfumery, and experimental work with scent.



[venue] Reed Arts Week 2018 (Reed College), Portland, U.S.A

[curator] Aersen Lease, artistic director for the Reed Arts Week

[Premier] November 15th, 2018 



"Tangible Scents" is an open-air installation which uses Maki Ueda's original method of “de-and re-construction in the air” to decode on the scent of rose. The five major components of the this scent are individually infused into vats of soap, which will each be poured into five different bubble machines. You can deconstruct rose into its component  scents by poking the bubbles, or immerse yourself in the total scent.









Used Scents:

(1)Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol,


(3)Phenyl Acetic Acid,

(4)Rose Oxide

(5)Aldehyde C9


Since the late 2017 I’ve been questioning myself “how to make scents more tangible and understandable for audience?”.

I picked “rose” as a theme because it’s universal. There’s no “typical rose scent” but it’s very diverse, from the sweet one to the fresh one, and that fact tells us that “rose” is a concept.

I’ve been experimenting with different medium as candle, perfume, and soap bubbles on this theme. The form of incident varies from workshop to installation.

Tangible Scents is an installation in open air, created as a result of such experimentations. My method here is “de-and re-construction of the scent of rose“. By deconstructing the rose scent in components and then reconstructing them together in the air, its concept becomes more transparent and tangible for the audience.

Five scents, the major components of the scent of rose, are impregnated to soap bubble independently.

(1) Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol (fresh, sweet, floral, sake-like)

(2) Geraniol (fresh, watery, citrusy)

(3) Phenyl Acetic Acid (sour, floral)

(4) Rose Oxide (fresh, metalic)

(5) Aldehyde C9 (fatty, green, cucumber-like)

They are to be diffused with the machines independently.

- By the mixing nature of scent molecules, the field of “the smell of rose” is created, as if the composition is done in the space.

- By being poked, a bubble breaks, and it emits the scent. - You can clearly identify the scent, because the five scents are quite different.

- You can also immerse yourself in the flow of bubbles and just feel the rose.

- You can zoom-in and out with the olfaction.

- Timing is controlled with remote controllers.

- Concentration is adjusted by each scent. Key words:

- tangible scents

- composition in the space

- immersive olfactory experience

- zoom-in and out with olfaction - de- and reconstruction of the scent of rose




[organizer] Nozomi Shirai / KYO-SHITSU https://www.ranagram.com/kyo-shitsu/

[venue] WOMB TOKYO

[date] November  2017

Used Scents:

(1) Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol

(2) Citronellol









[curator] Tomoko Takamine

[premier] November  2017

Used Scents:

(1) phenyl ethyl alcohol / PINK 

(2) geraniol / TURQUOISE BLUE 

(3) citronellol / YELLOW  

(4) linalool / ORANGE 

(5) euginol / PURPLE

(6) rose oxide / WINE RED 

(7) aldehyde C9 / GREEN 




[organizer] Hitoshi Watanabe (NPO Shima-no-Youchien)

[venue] Yachimun-kan, Ishigaki Isl.

[premier] August  2018

Used Scents:

(1) phenyl ethyl alcohol 

(2) citronellol 

(3) linalool 

(4) rose oxide 

(5) aldehyde C9

- Find the Spot for Ohanami -


installation (2018)

JAPAN HOUSE Sao Paulo - fotos  de Rogério Cassimiro (5)


JAPAN HOUSE Sao Paulo - fotos  de Rogério Cassimiro (4)


JAPAN HOUSE Sao Paulo - fotos  de Rogério Cassimiro (6)


[Place] Japan House Sao Paulo (premier)

[Dates] June 4 to Oct 21, 2018

[Artist] Maki UEDA (solo exhibition)

[Curator] Felipe RIEBENBOOM

[Total visitors] 307,439

[Total media reports] 114



This is the 4th version of my Olfactory Labyrinth Series, exploring space, movement and olfaction started in 2013. It is a maze with a metaphor of ohanami.

Ohanami is the Japanese traditional custom of picnic party for enjoying cherry blossoms in early spring. “Find the best spot for ohanami, with the sense of smell”, is the assignment to the audience. As you get closer to the invisible sakura (cherry blossoms) trees, it smells stronger.

[Technical Facts]

There are 81 bottles hanging from the ceiling in the grid of 9x9. Each bottle contains fragrant oil. The candle rope by which it hangs from the ceiling gradually absorbs the oil and spreads the scent around the space. The oil is just strong enough to be smelled from 35 cm distance. Each grid is thus 70 cm, just wide enough for a person to walk through while smelling. In order to make it possible, the solvent is carefully calibrated as follows: ethanol 80% (emitting property) / propylene glycol 20% (fixative property) .

This version is inspired by The Weber-Fechner Law on psychophysics: the logarithmic relation between the actual change in a physical stimulus and the perceived change. The concentration increases in 3 steps in multiple of 33, as a result of many experimentations: (1) 10.00% (2) 0.33% (3) 0.01% (4) 0.00%

The fragrance sakura is composed by myself as well. I tried to resemble it to the blossoms in the night, which emits very soft and powdery scent in silence.

The last step of the development is composition of colors. The higher concentration has darker color, so there needs color adjustment by each concentration, in order to mask the concentration visually.

[Youtube] https://youtu.be/R6jvXoV2PAI


JAPAN HOUSE Sao Paulo - fotos  de Rogério Cassimiro (15)

JAPAN HOUSE Sao Paulo - fotos  de Rogério Cassimiro (2)

JAPAN HOUSE Sao Paulo - fotos  de Rogério Cassimiro (3)    



Also Exhibited at:

National Taiwan Museum of Art, 2020


Kiyosu Haruhi Museum of Art, 2019


追風用意(おいかぜようい)という言葉がある。ひとことでいえば「香りの心遣い」。 徒然草の著者・吉田兼好が山里の寺で女性とすれ違ったあと、ふわっと漂ってきたお香の匂いをそう呼んでいる。












- invisible footprints -


installation (2019)


Olfactory Labyrinth ver. 5 is a finalist for the Art and Olfaction Sadakichi Award for Experimental Work with Scent.

The Art and Olfaction Awards celebrate excellence in global independent and artisan perfumery, and experimental work with scent.

Kiyosu Haruhi Museum of Art (premier) http://www.museum-kiyosu.jp/

[Dates] 12.10.2019. - 08.12.2019.

[Artist] Maki UEDA (solo exhibition)

[Curator] Nana FUJIMOTO

[Sponsored by] Yamamoto Perfumery Co. Ltd.



Imagine you are a dog.  You can experience this work with two ways:

A: By leaving fragrant footprint - choose your fragrant slippers, step on the stamp pad to absorb the fragrant ink (it’s transparent), and then walk on the floor.

B: By tracing them - sniff like a dog and trace the fragrance you like.

This installation questions our abilities of a scent-driven and spatial form of communication in relation to the abilities of other creatures.

[Technical Facts]

The floor is made with clay that absorbs water quickly.  As you walk, you would leave visible footsteps, but they disappear quickly, already in a couple of seconds.  However the fragrance stays for 1 to 3 hours.  Only top notes are used, randomly selected from over 30 natural and synthetic ingredients:

  • Green Slippers:         Cis 3 Hexenol
  • Light Blue Slippers:     Eucalyptus oil
  • Blue Slippers:         Rosemary oil
  • Red Slippers:         Lavandin oil
  • Orange Slippers:         Orange oil(Colorless)
  • Yellow Slippers:         Limonen
  • Brown Slippers:         Pine Needles oil

The stamp pad is self designed, and the solvent is also composed by myself accustomed to the behavior of the clay.


Olfactory Labyrinth is a series of space installation for researching space exploration navigated by the sense of smell. 

As I walk a dog daily, I noticed that dogs live on the totally different layer than us: on the layer of smell.  They play power game or attract each other by leaving footsteps, pees and poops: they communicate each other with smell for the purpose of protecting territories and reproduction.  The scent includes abundant information identifying its sex, age, and size.

Compared to them we human beings can communicate very little with the sense of smell.  This installation questions us about the scent-driven communication.

[Youtube] https://youtu.be/CCHKYfgYZcI












installation (2019)





[Place] Kiyosu City Haruhi Art Museum (premier) http://www.museum-kiyosu.jp/

[Date] 12.10.2019. - 08.12.2019.

[Artist] Maki UEDA (solo exhibition)

[Curator] Nana FUJIMOTO


OLFACTOSCAPE is a series of works researching scent-driven space exploration with the focus on how scents mix in the air. How do fragrances travel in space, how do they mix, what can we distinguish and what not?


A cylindrically shaped space is made to create a distinct space, safe enough to close your eyes and focus on smelling. As you walk along the circular curtain, new scents appears one by one:

  1. Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol
  2. Linalool

  3. Citronelllol
  4. Geranyl Acetate
Damascone Beta
  6. Eugenol
  7. Rose Oxide
Aldehyde C9

The scent of the rose flower consists of hundreds of chemical components. The eight components above are the most relevant ones. When you stand in the middle, what you smell is the mixture of them: the scent of rose flower. When moving closer to the curtain you “zoom in” to the individual components.

In comparison to music, the single scent is like “note” and the total scent is like “harmony”.


The work prior to this work is "DECONSTRUCTING CHANEL NO.5”, with a prototype to proof the concept in 2012. This work is hardly shown public because of trademark issues.  

This new work, “DECONSTRUCTING A ROSE”, inherits the same principle of that work. I chose the scent of rose as a theme, because it's universal, being loved in any culture beyond gender and generation. The scent of rose is the perfect concept for education, because there are a lot of different versions of this scent on the market.

[Technical Fact]

The fact that scents mix in the air makes it difficult for us to control them in olfactory art. However, it is this behavior that became a challenge for me and an important inspiration for making my work.

The level of intensity and the speed of vaporizing are controlled by calibrating the solvent for each scent.  For example, Aldehyde C9 is long lasting, so I diluted it and used a vapor-accelerating solvent. 

Scannable の文書 (2019-11-29 14_49_32)