Affective and perceptual experience of human body scent in Amsterdam

At the Human Olfaction conference (22 June 2017, Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen) I presented part 1 of my artistic research on affective experience within the framework of the olfactory dating performance Love Sweat Love (2016).

By outlining first results of the survey (roughly 300 participants) that was part of the performance, I illuminated participants’ feeling responses of attractively perceived body scent* samples of others. I focused specifically on feeling descriptions of participants who consider scent in a relationship as meaningful, thereby distinguishing between biological sex as well as the use and non-use of fragrance. To interpret the affective experiences, I drew upon the Geneva Emotion and Odor Scale (GEOS) (Chrea et al. 2009) as a tool for examining odor-evoked emotional experience. For details check out my poster.

For the future, I aim to evaluate all feeling responses, and to conceptualize the multiplicity of affective experience.

This research contributes both to the advancement of an aesthetics of the sense of smell, and to the continuous development of human olfactory perception.

Many thanks to Caro Verbeek for the invitation to Museumnight Amsterdam, and to Mediamatic for the collaboration. The most important contributors to the realization of the survey result have been Kaustubh Srikanth (programming), Milan Groot and Alanna Lynch (data entry), Jennifer Schulte (methodology), and Sheraz Khan (poster design).

* By body scent, I mean the way people smell naturally and with added fragrant products.