Michael Borkowsky

Michael Borkowsky

Perfume as Practice


Perfume as Practice is a research-based project and residency that incorporates workshops and events around the UK, and will include an exhibition at Bank Street Arts. The aim is to question our preconceived notions of perfumery, attempting to investigate it within the context of portraiture. 

Perfume as Practice attempts to navigate through the world of perfumery and seeks to question our general understanding of scent; speculating upon a world where scent is our primary means of experiencing the world. How would art – and indeed artists – exist if this was the case?  

Specifically, Michael is looking to create portraits of artists, as he believes the reasons for which artists create art hold parallels with the reasons for which people wear perfume – and such parallels can be investigated, questioned and disrupted. Details of how you can get involved below.

Michael hopes that Perfume as Practice will provide an alternative way of thinking about perfumery, scent and portraiture, and could evaluate how non-visual approaches to creative processes can inform how we understand portraiture.


Are you an artist? 

Would you like me to create a portrait of you from perfume? Would you like this perfume to then be displayed in an exhibition? If so, please get in touch with Michael with an answer to the question ‘Why do you make art?’

The question is designed to be pretty broad and open, so artists – please interpret it how you wish. The question may well instigate further questions and investigation. Keep in mind that I will be making a portrait, so this process of trying to uncover your identity as an artist is essential – it will allow the finished perfume to be a meaningful and insightful interpretation of who you are.



Perfume Making workshops give you a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how perfume can be viewed from a fine-art perspective, as well as an insight into the perfume making process, and the opportunity to make perfumes of your own. 
After a talk on how Michael uses perfume in his work, and after a perfume-making demonstration, you will be given the chance to make perfumes of your own. You will attempt to make perfumes that act as self-portraits – choosing scents and oils that reflect your personality, as well as decorating the bottle in any way you see fit! 
Bottles, oils and some materials for decorating the bottle will be provided. If you have your own materials you’d like to use then please feel free to bring them.