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



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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


- a blind-date event for the other senses inspired by The Tale of Genji -


participatory installation for the other senses






Once upon a time, a man fell in love with a woman just by sensing her atomosphere behind bamboo curtains.  He used all the other senses than the sight just to synthesize the whole vision of her as a person. Subtle information as the scent of incense and her silk kimono carried by the wind, and the friction sound of her touch, was already enough for him to fall in love with her.

Back then in Japan, women were not allowed themselves to be exposed to public.  She was kept behind curtains her entire life, not even allowed to give a word to a man that she liked. The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature in the early years of the 11th century that illustrates such unique depiction of the lifestyles of high courtiers during the Heian period. 

This event started from a question: "Can we also fall in love like that?"  

Modern communication is a lot thru by the sight so sex appeal is often made visually.  But in this event, the dating setup simulates the world of this novel, in the context of olfactory art.





- Waiting rooms are completely isolated visually, but sound-wise not (Japanese room is often made with paper)

- A man prepares a haiku poem related to the season and seasonal flowers. A woman gives permission to meet him if she likes it.

- They meet behind the curtains for 10 min.  The man may speak a word but the woman not. Her maid intermediates instead.



  “I experienced re-construction of the senses.  When you have the sights, scent is just  simple additional information.  But in this setup, when imagination becomes delution, you lose control. I was in total confusion: Any tiny information becomes sex appeal.”


M to F sex appeal examples:

-smell (perfumed on hair and kimono)

-letter (poem, calligraphy, flowers, scent on paper)


-play music

-the subtle sound of silk clothes and tabi socks



F to M sex appeal examples:


-smell (perfumed on hair and kimono)

-letter (poem, calligraphy, flowers, scent on paper)

-words carried by the maid

-the subtle sound of silk clothes and tabi socks



Kyoto Love Story

Les cheveux noirs et la madeleine (Black tresses and the madeleine) Exhibition

Premier: Kyoto Art Center (, 19 Dec 2015

Surpported by: Kyoto Saga Art University(

Curated by: Prof. Yoko Iwasaki

Concept: Maki Ueda




Collaboration with: Daikichi Yoshida

on: June 16, 2015

at: Uplink Shibuya, Tokyo










【日時】6/16(火) 19:00 open / 19:30 start
    東京都渋谷区宇田川町37-18 トツネビル1階
【出演】Yoshida Daikiti (スルバハール)
    MAKI UEDA (嗅覚アーティスト)
【料金】予約:2,500円 / 当日:3,000円 *共に+1ドリンク500円

◆ ヨシダダイキチ:


◆ ウエダマキ:


Sukebeningen Official WebsiteL:


What is Sukebeningen Project?

The project presents inter media art of characteristically Japanese eroticism. We explore the cultural differences in the conception of eroticism between The Netherlands and Japan through music, dance, electronics, fine arts, and olfactory art.

The name "Sukebeningen"

The name of the project "Sukebeningen" comes from the beach Scheveningen in Den Haag, The Netherlands. Japanese pronounce the word "Scheveningen" /sukebeningen/. The word "sukebe" means somethig like "lecherous" or "naughty," and "ningen" means human being. So "Sukebeningen" means a naughty person. In Japan, therefore, Scheveningen is well-known as a beach with a funny-sounding name. One might say the name is ambiguous: for Dutch, it refers to the beautiful beach; for Japanese, it refers to a naught person. For both peoples, the name of the project is very familiar.

Why eroticism?

One's conception of eroticism reveals his or her sexual sensitivity at a very personal level. At the same time, eroticism reflects the taste of a people at the cultural level. Indeed, eroticism is an important aspect of the cultural aesthetics. Everyone is interested in eroticism, and how different cultures conceive of it. But, it is also a sensitive topic, and it can be difficult to talk about it. We want people to enjoy our works personally and casually, although at the same time we deal with eroticism honestly and seriously.


About the Works

(1) The Tattooer 

The Tattooer is based on the beautiful sado-masochistic tale by Junichiro Tanizaki. In the piece, Tanizaki€™s world is crystalized using carefully selected materials from the story.

About the scents; The first scent: Jinko, an aphrodisiac incense that used to be diffused permanently in the Japanese red light district in the old days. It symbolizes ecstasy. The second scent: Shoko, an incense that is employed in Buddhist ceremonies and funerals. It symbolizes death.

Video directed by Kaname Onoyama.

electronics and composition : Yota Morimoto

composition and violin : Noriko Koide

supervision : Akane Takada

dance : Chiaki Horita

olfactory art : Maki Ueda

tattoo : Yuki Hatazawa

percussion : Ryoko Imai


(2) Moon

The concept of the work is an installation of kehai, a Japanese word which means 'a vague sense of the presence of something.' When one perceives or becomes aware of an indication that somebody/something exists around him/her, many faculties of senses contribute to pick up that. We created a dance piece in which multi-sensorial experience is explored. The auditorium is in complete darkness, suppressing the sense of sight, and making other modalities more sensitive. The seats in the auditorium are arranged with intervals, through which the dancer will dance, keeping an intimate proximity to the audience. They will be able to feel the kehai of the dancer. In addition, She wears a perfume, developed by the olfactory artist, to emphasize her kehai (where she is, and what she does in the dark).

About the scent; the scent of a flower that blooms at night to attract moths.

Video directed by Kaname Onoyama.

electronics and composition: Yota Morimoto

composition : Noriko Koide

supervision : Akane Takada

dance : Chiaki Horita

olfactory art : Maki Ueda

(3) Shijuhatte

 Shijuhatte, refers to the catalogue of 48 erotic positions partners can take during the course of making love, as depicted in shunga (Japanese old erotic picture). Each position has a poetic name, giving us the impression of the rich imagination of the people in the Edo period. The choreography is based on these 48 positions, and the music is based on the sound that was actually heard in yukaku (Japanese red light district) where yujyo (the women who work in yukaku) were. Besides an amplified mini-koto and some small percussions and toys which are strongly associated with yujyo, we also developed a switch that triggers various sound effects. In addition, we've put elements of Ozashiki-Asobi (game or play with yujyo in yukaku), presenting the sophisticated culture that enjoy communication with yujyo though the games and plays more than sex itself back in that period.

About the scent; the scent of cherry blossom.

Video directed by Kaname Onoyama.

electronics : Yota Morimoto

composition : Noriko Koide

mini-koto : Akane Takada

dance : Chiaki Horita

olfactory art : Maki Ueda

percussion : Ryoko Imai