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Events - 02.29.2020

Aroma & Mindfulness An Exploration and Discovery of the Senses, Built on the Aromas of HIDA

Aroma & Mindfulness Image
The Institute for Art and Olfaction



10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



In Japan, scent has a long history of use in both ritual and broader cultural context for cleansing and purifying a space. Tree oils in particular, including those offered by Hida Sangyo, are known for their woodsy, earthy notes and for imparting effects such as relaxation, focus and calm.

As part of the current exhibition “HIDA: A Woodwork Tradition in the Making,” JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is pleased to present “Aroma & Mindfulness,” a pair of interactive workshops which build on the role of wood scent in craft heritage and sustainability. Beyond furniture, Hida Sangyo has been developing technology for the extraction of tree oils for use as lifestyle aromas. This allows them to better utilize every last resource down to the twigs and leaves of the trees used in their furniture production, and to allow customers to experience a deeper connection to the forest and its healing properties through the effects of the aromas and their use.

Led by host and scent expert Saskia Wilson-Brown, founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Art and Olfaction, participants are invited to deeply contemplate Hida’s forests and the woodworking culture and symbiotic relationship with them as enshrined in the exhibit. Attendees will experience each of Hida Sangyo’s aromas in a tranquil setting, and be guided to understand how tree scents are related to, and complemented by, other natural aromas such as those extracted from flowers, herbs and other aromatics. With this basic understanding of the principles of pairing and blending, participants will then try their hand at blending custom scents in line with their personal taste, and come away with a memento of this unique sensory experience.

Note: This isn’t a full-day event. Both sessions will offer the same experience.
Please be advised that in this workshop you will spend more time smelling materials than you do in your everyday life. Some people occasionally report feeling light-headed. On rare occasions, people experience sensitivities to certain aromatics. We take every precaution for health and safety, use materials that are in line with IFRA compliance standards, and - most importantly - take frequent breaks. However, if you know that you are extremely sensitive to scent, please bear this information in mind.


Registration has closed.

Speaker Profile

Saskia Wilson-Brown
Saskia Wilson-Brown co-directed the Silver Lake Film Festival and ran international filmmaker outreach at Al Gore’s Current TV while producing initiatives around new models in the arts. In 2012, her interest in transmedia practices led her to create The Institute for Art and Olfaction, a non-profit devoted to experimentation and access in perfumery.

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Through the IAO, she has launched projects with institutions such as Pulitzer Foundation, Getty Institute, Danish Film Institute, National Media Museum UK, Hammer Museum, Wallace Collection, New Mexico Highlands University, and many more. In 2013, she launched the Art and Olfaction Awards, an international awards mechanism for independent perfumers. She recently served as a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art in London. Her current interests relate to the creation of open source mechanisms for the perfume industry.

The Institute of Art and Olfaction (IAO)
Founded in September 2012 in Los Angeles, The Institute for Art and Olfaction is a 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to advancing public, artistic and experimental engagement with scent.

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We do this by initiating and supporting experimental projects that utilize the medium of scent, by providing accessible and affordable education in our laboratory as well as in partnership with institutions and community groups, and by celebrating excellence in independent, artisan and experimental perfumery through our yearly award mechanism, The Art and Olfaction Awards. Through these efforts, we extend the world of scent beyond its traditional boundaries of appreciation and use. Learn more at or on instagram: @artandolfaction

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