Olivier Kummer explains the importance of aromas from Biblical times
Have you ever wondered which aromatic plants Adam and Eve enjoyed in the Garden of Eden, or the sweet fragrances that inspired King Solomon’s Song of Songs?
Belgian perfumer Olivier Kummer will take audiences back in time with a special olfactory workshop on aromas and their Biblical past at JW3 this Sunday.
This is the first time that the 38-year-old artisan, who is a member of the Société Française des Parfumeurs and has the ability to discern 3,000 different fragrances, has appeared in the UK.
Rabbi Jeff Berger, of Rambam Sephardi Synagogue of Elstree & Borehamwood, which organised the event, describes the workshop as “a sensory experience”.
He explains: “The idea of re’ach, or smell, is very important in the Torah. When Noah sacrificed an animal after the flood, the pleasant aroma evoked God’s promise to never again destroy humanity. Smell also nourishes our souls, hence why we smell incense at the end of Shabbat at Havdalah.
“In the modern world, we often focus on our other senses of sight, hearing and taste, but our sense of smell is neglected.
“This workshop is the equivalent of going to a wonderful eight-course meal, with every dish a little different. It’s a sensory experience that will help people to rediscover what fragrance is about and how much we are missing as a result of disregarding our sense of smell.”
• Rambam Sephardi Olfactory Workshop with Olivier Kummer takes place on Sunday, 15 November, 1.15pm to 3pm at JW3, Finchley Road, London.