Since April, the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague in the Netherlands has been offering the public a virtual scent tour… It’s a world first!

The Maurithuis in The Hague is certainly one of the Netherlands’ best known museums on a global level. The museum houses the Royal Cabinet of Paintings which consists of 854 objects, mostly from the Dutch Golden Age. To be seen are numerous paintings from Rembrandt, Ruisdael and the museum’s iconic painting “the Girl with a Pearl Earring” from Vermeer. 

As museums remained closed for many months, the Mauritshuis developed a comprehensive tool to visit the museum virtually. It proposes a free virtual tour in many various languages. And it has also introduced a world’s first: for the exhibition Fleeting – Scents in Colour, the museum provides a virtual smell tour.

In partnership with sponsor NN Group, the Mauritshuis developed a fragrance box, which gives the opportunity to smell the art tour for virtual visitors. 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 30-minute digital tour is accessed via a QR code. In between, it is possible to smell and see in real life, as museums in the Netherlands reopened on June 5.

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