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Sensational scents: a sensory journey to the 17th century

When and where

19 October 2017

Past event

Sensational scents: a sensory journey to the 17th century

Join the Royal College of Physicians' museum for an intriguing voyage via the senses to the fascinating and sensual world of writer, doctor and 17th century collector; Sir Thomas Browne.

A voyage via the senses

Take an intriguing voyage via the senses back to the world of writer, collector and physician, Sir Thomas Browne at a unique and atmospheric ‘museum late’. Presented with the celebrated AVM Curiosities; an innovative practice exploring the relationship between art, food and history; specially designed ‘scent chambers’, edible perfumes and scent tabs will enable guests to experience the world of Sir Thomas Browne in a new light.

The evening also features a revealing talk on early modern odours by academic, author and 17th century scent expert, Sophie Read, and the opportunity to view the acclaimed exhibition 'A cabinet of rarities': the curious collections of Sir Thomas Browne

'London at its crazy-best'

Vanity Fair on AVM Curiosities

Sensational scents collaborators

Founded by award-winning food historian Tasha Marks (Selfridges Bright Young Thing 2013 and Young British Foodie 2013 – Experiential Finalist), AVM Curiosities champions the use of food as an artistic medium, with projects ranging from museum-style exhibitions and sculptural installations to interactive lectures and limited-edition confectionery. With a practice heavily influenced by history, Tasha has diverse culinary interests ranging from 16th century cabinets of curiosity to 1930s medicinal cookery. Vanity Fair calls AVM Curiosities ‘London at it’s crazy-best’.

Sophie Read is a lecturer in Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Christ's College. She works primarily on seventeenth-century poetry, with a few excursions both backwards and forwards. She is interested in the intersection of literature and religion, in literature and the senses, and in rhetorical constructs. Her first book was ‘Eucharist and the Poetic Imagination’ her current research, provisionally entitled ‘Speaking Sweet: Renaissance Rhetorics of Smell’, is on perfume and the sense of smell in the early modern world.

"...the Royal College of Physicians have resurrected Browne and his enthusiasms in a small but exquisitely constructed exhibition. Visiting is as close as anyone can get to today to the paradise John Evelyn encountered... a remarkable achievement."

Times Literary Supplement

Event information and booking

Tickets: £12 including a cocktail on arrival. Concession (student, over 60s, unwaged) £10

Tickets are limited, book early on Eventbrite to reserve your place.



6.30pm: arrival and refreshments, exhibition viewing with AVM Curiosities

7.15pm: talk by scent expert, Sophie Read

8.00pm: pay bar and exhibition viewing with AVM Curiosities

9.00pm: close