E-course Fragrance

scents of the middle east
Collage of a smiling Nubian woman, wearring large gold earrings, with dewy roses, jasmin and lilies
the world of scent

Scents of the Middle East

Did you know your jewellery belongs to a world of scent? It smelled of blossoming flowers and aromatic herbs, of smouldering frankincense and deep woody notes…If you’ve always loved fragrance, this course deepens your understanding of its cultural use!

Why have frankincense, myrrh and other aromatics been so popular for thousands of years? How does fragrance connect us to guests and to the divine? What are the reasons behind wearing delicate perfume containers, handmade fragranced beads and the thorough incensing of clothing? Find out in this course on scent and personal adornment!

explore scent

Watch whenever you like

This is the easiest course ever to fit into your schedule. Honestly. No rushing, no squeezing in fixed course times. Watch and learn whenever it suits you. 

‘I would love to take a course, but I’m so busy…’ Sound familiar? Our days fill up quickly, and so we are quick to skip those things we actually enjoy the most: a moment to relax, to explore, to enjoy our favourite topic. I have designed this course with you in mind: you may not have 2 hours, but everyone has 15 minutes to spare for a topic they deeply enjoy.

So this course is not another item on your to do-list. This course is the break you’ve been wanting!

All you need is 15 minutes and an Internet connection: participants have enjoyed a course while commuting, on their tea break, or as bingewatch feast. You could be enjoying the first episode in 10 minutes from now….!


the many worlds of scent

What will I learn?

The use of fragrance is so much more than just spritzing on a perfume…! First, a trip through the rich and varied history of fragrance will show you how every period had its own favourite scents. Next, we will explore scent as part of the invisible world. Many formal religions use fragrance, but everyday magic does as well. We move on to wonderfully incensed houses and rich perfume oils used when receiving guests, we see how women created their own fragrance blends and why scent is used in such quantities in weddings. And of course: how to wear scent! How is fragrance worked into jewellery, but also in hairstyles, in clothes and in the use of henna? And what does it all mean…?  Dive into the unseen, fragrant world of your jewellery and find out!

The Fragrance-class was amazing…I had no idea how profoundly meaningful frankincense, ‘ūd and all the aromatics you showed us are, and now I find myself wanting to smell these glorious scents all day! I love how you built up the class like a precious perfume, adding layer upon layer until a depth of understanding emerges that is still so easy to follow and wonderful to look at! Well done!

Yasmine Rawaby


about me

Your instructor

All classes are researched, prepared and taught by Sigrid van Roode. I have been presenting classes, courses, workshops and jewellery talks for over 25 years now, and am the author of two books on jewellery from North Africa and the Middle East. My goal is to present academic level research in an accessible, fun and easy to follow style. I believe jewellery is not just adornment, but an important historic source that tells us so much about the lives of women – and I’ll be showing you in how many ways that works!

fragrance and jewellery


E-book package

With this prerecorded lecture series, you will receive 8 full-colour e-books. These contain not only all the course material, but are also filled with tips for books and online reading, and extra images. The e-books are yours to download and keep: your own olfactory library!

Online community

You will have access to our private online community on Facebook. Ask, share and chat away with other course participants from around the globe – with as many angles, comparisons and personal stories to share! Let’s enjoy the world of jewellery together!

This class is definitely for you when:

  • you are interested in jewellery and dress from North Africa and Southwest Asia, and in the many traditions and cultures of the region;
  • you work with dress and adornment from the region as curator, designer, dancer, instructor or collector;
  • you inherited jewellery and would like to learn more about its background;
  • you have lived or are living in the region as an expat and would like to understand more about its history and culture;
  • you are curious to look beyond your own culture or country;
  • you care about jewellery and cherish jewellery items as the heritage pieces they are.
Collection of silver Middle Eastern jewellery wirth frankincense and rose petals