Photo: © Mauritshuis
News Resources

Fleeting – Scents in Colour exhibition

May 5, 2021

The Mauritshuis is offering a world first: for the exhibition Fleeting – Scents in Colour they have produced the world’s first interactive digital look and smell tour.

In partnership with sponsor NN Group, they have developed a fragrance box, which means you can watch the tour from home while ‘smelling’ the artworks. During the tour, Mauritshuis curator Ariane van Suchtelen talks about smells and art of the 17th century, discussing the fleeting world of scent: What did you smell as you left the house? What was the relationship between smell, health and personal hygiene? And does the experience of then differ from today? Some of the scents in the fragrance box will be rather enjoyable, but is that true of them all…? The exclusive box can be ordered here via The tour is in Dutch with English subtitles. 

Fragrance box
The fragrance box has been specially developed since the exhibition cannot (yet) be visited due to COVID-19 restrctions. In the exhibition, several artworks are complemented by a scent pump so that visitors can smell as well as see the scents shown in the painting.

The fragrance box contains four scent pumps which allow you to smell the four scents at the same time that they appear in the tour. The 30-minute digital tour is accessed via a QR code (and URL), and can be viewed in a secure environment on YouTube.

The scent pumps are so-called dry air scenters, which last for a long time. The scents were produced by IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances) and are partly based on 17th-century formulas.

Fleeting – Scents in Colour is a voyage of discovery that will inspire viewers to experience art from a new perspective. In the exhibition at the Mauritshuis, there are a total of eight fragrances to smell.

The exhibition has been extended until 29 August 2021.

Did you find this interesting? Discover more