The work Verbloemen/Nosegay is based on a research into the power of political speeches and questions the contribution of non-verbal communication to the messages that political leaders try to convey.  

The work focuses on floriography, which is a cryptological communication through the use of flowers. For ages flowers have been used as carriers of messages for cultures, religions and nations. These symbols have been developed, interpreted, taken over or adapted and forgotten continuously. The flowers became carriers of meanings based on agreements once made by the users. 


During the nineteen-century floriography soared in Victorian England and in the United States. It was customary to present gifts consisting of flowers and plants arranged into bouquets to convey a coded message. Upon receiving one of these ‘talking bouquets’ one could reference a floral dictionary to de-code the message. Within these dictionaries, flowers, herbs, plants and trees are imposed with a specific meaning and are translated into words. 


For the work Verbloemen/Nosegay Sanne utilised such a flower dictionary to de-code and translate speeches of politicians into perfumes. She looked for the matching flora that goes with every word that is used in the speech. Then she searched for the essential oils of these flora and assembled them together into a perfume. 

The following speeches are transformed into perfume;

Inauguration by Donald Trump
Resignation by Theresa May
Inauguração by Jair Bolsonaro
Resignation by Hassan Diab
Dear Soldiers by Narendra Modi
Corona Statement by Angela Merkel

Verbloemen/ Nosegay is an ongoing project. Every year Vaassen will translate new speeches into perfumes.

Verbloemen / Nosegay, Perfume, 100 x 16 x 16 cm, 2019

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