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Events - 11.07.2022

Experiencing Scent:
An Exploration of Japanese Aromas and Blending

Aroma Workshop
Photo Credit: Institute for Art and Olfaction


11.07.2022 (Mon.)


02:00 PM – 04:00 PM
05:00 PM – 07:00 PM


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5


$30 (20 people in each session)

As part of the ongoing “Mindfulness Lounge” program in the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Level 5 Salon, we are pleased to present the in-person workshop “Experiencing Scent: An Exploration of Japanese Aromas and Blending.”

Host and scent expert Saskia Wilson-Brown, founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Art and Olfaction, will share insights about perfumery with an emphasis on historical Japanese aromatics. Participants are invited to contemplate some of Japan’s most beautiful natural aromas such as hinoki (cypress), yuzu and ginger, and consider the ways that scent connects to mindfulness.

Experiencing each aroma in a tranquil setting, guests will be guided to understand how some of the scents are related to, and complemented by, materials 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. We’re hosting two sessions of this workshop as space is limited to 20 participants in each. Please select which session (2-4 PM, or 5-7 PM) you prefer; both will be 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.

Speaker Profile

Photo Credit: S. Leimbach

Saskia Wilson-Brown
After receiving an MA in fine art from Central Saint Martins, 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 multivalent practices led her to create The Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO), a non-profit devoted to access and experimentation in perfumery.

Read more.

Through the IAO, she has launched projects with institutions such as Pulitzer Foundation, Getty Institute, 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, and in 2018 she launched Open Sourcing Smell Culture, an initiative devoted to open source principles in perfumery. In 2019 and early 2020 she served as a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art in London, before Covid called her home to successfully transition the IAO to online programming. In 2020 and 2022, she was invited as a Ballen Scholar at New Mexico Highlands University. In addition to overseeing the IAO, her current projects include a radio show and podcast called Perfume on the Radio for Lookout FM in Los Angeles, and pursuing a PhD exploring the historic and contemporary relationship between perfume, access and power at University College Dublin.

About 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 access to the practice of working with scent.

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We do this by initiating and supporting experimental projects with scent, by providing accessible education in our laboratory as well as in partnership with institutions and community groups, by curating art exhibitions that incorporate scent in our gallery, and by raising visibility for independent, artisan and experimental and artistic practices with scent as a whole. Through these efforts, we extend the world of scent beyond its traditional boundaries of appreciation and use.

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