Events - Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent

In association with Coty and Peroni Ambra, with additional support from Givaudan and Liberty London
21 June – 17 September 2017
East Wing Galleries, Somerset House
Exhibition entry: adults £11, concessions £9



This summer, Somerset House’s major summer exhibition Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent invites visitors to discover a vibrant new scent scene through multi-sensory installations.

In addition to a fully functioning perfume laboratory to see up close the skill and science of contemporary scent-making, visitors can expect a full programme of talks, workshops and demonstrations throughout the exhibition’s run to offer further insights into the art of perfumery. Led by a myriad of established perfumers and scent scenesters, the events are designed to appeal to all ages and interests, encouraging novice noses and fragrance fanatics to get involved. 


International Perfumer Panel Discussion
Wednesday 21 June, 19:00 – 21:00
£12, £10 concessions

Introduced by Senior Curator Claire Catterall and chaired by co-curator Lizzie Ostrom (aka Odette Toilette), this talk offers a rare insight into the process and practicalities of perfumery, plus the inspiration and curatorial vision behind the exhibition. The curators will be joined by three of the exhibiting perfumers: Mark Buxton, presenting Comme des Garçons 2, Antoine Lie, creator of Sécrétions Magnifiques and self-taught perfumer David Seth Moltz, the nose behind cult fragrance El Cosmico.

Fragrance Futures Panel Discussion
Thursday 29 June, 19:00 – 21:00
£12, £10 concessions

The second panel discussion in the series will explore the science in scent-making, inviting Charles Spence, Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, and Timothy Han, an up-and-coming British scent-designer fusing fragrance with virtual reality and live music for immersive experiences. 

An Introduction to Fragrance Production (Novice Workshop)
Presented by the Experimental Perfume Club
Tuesday 25 July, 18:00 – 21:00
£60, including exhibition entry & complimentary drink

Led by Emmanuelle Moeglin, founder of the Experimental Perfume Club, this two-hour hands-on workshop will introduce perfume novices to the art of perfumery. In this session, visitors will learn about scent-design, developing their sense of smell to create a unique fragrance to take home.

Next Steps in Sculpting Scent (Advanced Workshop)
Presented by the Experimental Perfume Club
Tuesday 29 August, 18:00 – 21:00
£60, including exhibition entry & complimentary drink

The Experimental Perfume Club’s Emmanuelle Moeglin will lead a second two-hour workshop for perfume enthusiasts looking to take their sensory investigations to the next level. The session will explore quirky combinations in cutting edge perfumery, encouraging budding scent-designers to experiment with metallic, animal and leather notes, creating a bespoke scent to take home.

Free Family Drop-In Workshop: Marty The Mighty Nose
Saturday 1 July, 12:00 – 15:00
Free entry

Families with children aged 6-12 can participate in a free drop-in workshop exploring language, self-expression and smell. In collaboration with the Fragrance Foundation, the afternoon’s activities will consider the many ways to describe the most ephemeral of the senses – smell – with the help of Marty, a Columbian cartoon character with a famously mighty nose.

The Laboratory
Throughout the exhibition’s run, a fully functioning laboratory will be open to visitors, offering the opportunity to discover the perfumer’s toolkit or see a particular process at work. Visitors will be able to smell individual ingredients found in the ten exhibited scents and other well-known fragrances. 

Perfumer Residencies
9 July, 23 July, 13 August, 27 August
Spotlight talks: 14:15 – 14:45

Fortnightly in July and August, up-and-coming British perfumers will perform 1-day take-overs within the laboratory, with special talks on their trade and techniques. These perfumers include Paul Schütze (9 July), Timothy Han (23 July), Eliza Douglas (13 August) with a final perfumer to be confirmed for 27 August. Each perfumer will use the laboratory to develop a theme inherent in their work. Referencing an archive of multi-media content, Schütze will encourage an olfactory approach to an abundance of art forms, from cinema to sculpture, while Han will explore intriguing scent and sound combinations. Douglas’ project sees her use scent to describe an object or artwork to visually impaired individuals, harnessing olfactory clues to translate the scene they cannot see.

Perfumer Demonstrations
Thursday – Saturday, weekly

Throughout the exhibition The Laboratory will be home to pairings of Givaudan perfumers and trainee perfumers from Givaudan’s prestigious perfumery school. Each week from Thursday to Saturday, these Laboratory hosts will undertake 3-day residencies at Somerset House where they will create archetypal scent styles from scratch, from Chypre to Gourmand, demonstrating the different stages that go into making a perfume. 

Demonstrations will also be held by IFRA UK (International Fragrance Association UK) during exhibition opening hours. As leaders in functional fragrance, IFRA will consider a different approach to scent-design and examine why certain scents are trending across the world in everyday products.

Perfumer Deconstructions
On Wednesday 5 July and selected dates throughout the exhibition, perfume experts from Coty will deconstruct a range of prestigious fragrances, revealing the importance of choosing key ingredients and carefully balancing accords, in order to create perfumes with a huge following and long lasting appeal.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Stephanie Lilley, Acting Head of PR or Francesca Hughes, Senior Press Officer on: / 0207 845 4624




21 June – 23 September 2017
Times: Monday, Tuesday, Saturday & Sundays 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.00), Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 11.00-20.00 (last admission 19.00)
Due to early closure of the courtyard for programmed events, the galleries will be open 10.00-18.00 on the 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th & 14th July and the 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 23rd August
£11/£9 (concessions), available at
Address:  East Wing Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Transport:  Underground: Temple, Embankment / Rail:  Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars
Somerset House Facebook:
Somerset House Twitter: @SomersetHouse
Somerset House Instagram: @SomersetHouse
Hashtag: #PerfumePioneers

About Somerset House
A unique part of the London cultural scene, Somerset House is an historic building where surprising and original work comes to life. From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Somerset House is today a key cultural destination in London in which to experience a broad range of artistic activity, engage with artists, designers and makers and be a part of a major creative forum – an environment that is relaxed, welcoming, and inspirational to visit while providing a stimulating workplace for the cultural and creative industries. 

Since its opening in 2000, Somerset House has built up a distinctive outdoor public programme including Skate, concerts, an open-air film season and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the site focusing on contemporary culture, with an extensive learning programme attached. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is also one of the biggest community of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. It currently attracts approximately 3.4 million visitors every year.

About Coty Inc.
Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with approximately $9 billion in revenue, with a purpose to celebrate and liberate the diversity of consumers’ beauty. Its strong entrepreneurial heritage has created an iconic portfolio of leading beauty brands.  Coty is the global leader in fragrance, a strong number two in professional salon hair color & styling, and number three in color cosmetics.  Coty operates three divisions – Coty Consumer Beauty, which is focused on color cosmetics, retail hair coloring and styling products, body care and mass fragrances sold primarily in the mass retail channels with brands such as COVERGIRL, Max Factor and Rimmel; Coty Luxury, which is focused on prestige fragrances and skincare with brands such as Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss, Gucci and philosophy; and Coty Professional Beauty, which is focused on servicing salon owners and professionals in both hair and nail, with brands such as Wella Professionals, Sebastian Professional and OPI.  Coty has approximately 20,000 colleagues globally and its products are sold in over 130 countries. Coty and its brands are committed to a range of social causes as well as seeking to minimize its impact on the environment.
For additional information about Coty Inc., please visit

About Peroni Ambra
Launched in the UK in Spring 2017, Peroni Ambra is the innovative new drink offering, from Peroni Nastro Azzurro; and is brewed and bottled in Padova, Italy. Inspired by the Italian ritual of ‘aperitivo’, an authentic italian ritual; designed to open the palate and stimulate the appetite before a meal, typically a social occasion at the start of the night. The unique recipe behind Peroni Ambra combines the crisp and refreshing taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro and the sharpness of Italian Chinotto – a rare citrus fruit, found in Liguria, North West Italy. Reaffirming Peroni’s passion for craftsmanship and authentic Italian heritage, Peroni have worked closely with the farmers of Besio, where the Chinotto is sourced. The essential oils found in the Chinotto peel are macerated into a natural extract; this essence is then blended with a higher ABV Peroni Nastro Azzurro, enhancing the flavour profile as it allows for the Chinotto to express its rare and authentic taste. 6% ABV, £6 RRP.

Peroni Ambra is distinctively served from its 250ml bottle into a bespoke Italian tumbler glass, over ice, and garnished with an orange peel twist.

Peroni Ambra is currently available to enjoy at ‘Somerset House Terrace Presented by Peroni Ambra,’ before becoming more widely available in a selection of top end bars across London.

About Givaudan Fragrances
Givaudan is passionate about perfumery and is dedicated to combining creativity and innovation to design beautiful fragrances. With the industry’s largest perfumery team, Givaudan contributes to making life delightful and memorable through unique scent experiences for customers around the world. Currently present in all major markets, Givaudan strives to deliver fragrances for personal, home and laundry care, as well as prestige perfumes. Our customers benefit from Givaudan’s expertise in three business areas: Fine Fragrances, Consumer Products, and Fragrance and Cosmetics Ingredients. We invite you to ‘engage your senses’ and learn more about Fragrances at

About Liberty
Liberty London, W1
Synonymous with the city its shop stands in, Liberty London is a brand driven by discovery. Born in 1875 from the adventurous and disruptive spirit of Arthur Lasenby Liberty, the brand has remained true to its heritage and has become famed for its print, fabrics, and design. Liberty London continues to be associated with the worlds of arts and culture and has built on its founder's legacy, searching the world to find the new and the beautiful.

Liberty is today famed for cultural collaborations, inspiring curation, and directional design. The iconic, Regent Street shop encompasses six floors of curated fashion, Little Liberty childrenswear, beauty, accessories, and homewares bringing together the world’s leading premium and luxury brands and housing them alongside their own label, Liberty London range.  @LibertyLondon  @LibertyBeautyTeam #LibertyBeauty