Microbial Perfume (an olfactory self-portrait)

mouth_in_rooibosSweet Sleep Mouth in Rooibos

mouth_in_coffeeAfter Yoga Armpit in Coffee

foot_in_green_teaLate Evening Foot in Green Tea

Bottled experimental perfumes


Beneath our superficial differences we are all of us walking communities of bacteria. The world shimmers, a pointillist landscape made of tiny living beings.

– Lynn Margulis, Microcosmos


Human beings are hiding their sweat smells with the bodily secretes of other animals: ambergris (the vomit of the sperm whale), civet (the anal secrete of civet animal) or musk (abdominal secrete of male musk deer).

All humans have unique and distinctive scents and microbiomes, as personal as the signature or fingerprint. Microbial Perfume is a proposition to collaborate closely with our own bacteria to create/change the inner perfumes. How could we improve the communication with our microorganisms and how would the microbial portraits of the human body look/smell like?

This work is a lecture, a selection of three parts of the body and a creation of three perfume samples: Late Evening Foot in Coffee, After Yoga Armpit in Green Tea and Sweet Sleep Mouth in Cinnamon.


2015, 2016; agar medium, green tea, coffee, cinnamon, human secretes, time

Venues: Waag Society (Amsterdam, NL), Mediamatic (Amsterdam, NL)



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