The Navhind Times Zest workshop, ‘The Invisible You’ was held on Sunday, September 25 at Dempo House, Panaji. Conducted by independent perfumer and researcher, Monika Ghurde, the two-hour workshop aimed at sensitising participants about the olfactory sense; how it works and affects us. Participants braved the pouring rains to participate in the unique workshop and were not disappointed as it proved to be not just informative but also interesting.

Monika commenced the workshop with a short talk on the sense of smell and its importance and followed the same with a presentation. “Smell is not just a biological and psychological experience; it is also a social and cultural phenomenon. It is truly our life force and a powerful tool for communication. It feeds us information all the time and navigates us through life and brings us pleasures,” she said.

After the presentation, participants were blindfolded and made to smell certain household items that were carefully selected and then identify what they had smelt. It seemed like an easy enough task however most participants were unable to do so. Monika then spoke about memories, perceptions and childhood experiences. She explained, “The part of the brain that processes our sense of smell is directly connected to our memories, perceptions and childhood experiences. Sometimes we smell something and it immediately transfers us to our childhood, smells are so potent! All smells do not bring back good memories there are also bad memories and smells can trigger any one depending on the person and situation.”

In the smelling session that followed, participants were again blindfolded and given various strips dipped in different essential oils and were asked to describe what they smelt. “Closing your eyes will help you identify the smell better as then the distraction level is lower,” she added. The exercise elicited many responses and it was surprising to see how a particular smell was interpreted differently by different individuals. After smelling a gamut of different smells, that ranged from pleasant to good and from bad to really bad, participants were given useful tips by Monika on choosing the right perfume. The workshop ended with a question and answer session.

The next workshop under the banner of Zest is scheduled for December but before that the next Planet J workshop for youth is on October 9.


Beautiful Sunday morning. The workshop was a super experience to delve into the smell buds.
Omkar Naik, writer
The workshop was simply amazing!
Shweta Gaonkar, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna
It was an awesome workshop. Thank you Navhind Times.
Renita Barneto, lecturer, Shiroda
Excellent workshop by Zest. Hopefully I have learnt to recognize smells better. Thank you.
Archanan Nagvekar, computer engineer
I truly appreciate the wonderful workshop organised by Navhind Times and the team. It was articulate, fun and entertaining. Looking forward for more.
Sonali Naik, service, Margao
After attending this workshop, I have become more aware about my sense of smell. Thanks to Monika and Zest for a wonderful workshop.
Sadaf Farooqui, student, Vidya Prabodhini, Porvorim
I was transported to the world of fragrance through the workshop, which was informative and very enjoyable.
Tanvy Surlekar, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna
It was amazing to see the invisible you. In the hustle and bustle of life we forget these fragrances which soothe us. Thank you Monika and Zest.
Marcelyna Fernandes, broadcasting engineer, Panaji
I did not realise the impact smell has on us, our emotions, decisions, besides other things. It was a really amazing workshop.
Ashra Khan, student, Vidya Prabodhini, Porvorim
Superb! Monika was just amazing. She has made me realise how fragrance acts on our body and how we can relate to it in our life. Thank you Zest.
Afshan Sayed, lecturer, Santo Minguel Higher Secondary School, Taleigao
It was a very nice workshop. Enjoyed different smells which ignited our senses and brought afresh memories.
Domnick Junior Gomes, Margao
Got to know how to use my sense of smell more effectively. Vrundan Parab, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna It was a fun workshop and I enjoyed it.
Mehtab Khan, student, Vidya Prabodhini, Porvorim
A very interesting session. Really opened up our senses.
Jonathan Sequeira, hospitality trainer, Calangute
I have learnt how to enhance my sense of smell and also how to use perfume properly.
Payal Agarwal, business, Panaji
I have actually enhanced my sense of smell through the workshop.
Saloni Desai, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna
Excellent workshop. Need some more of these.
Atish Naik, business
It was a very enjoyable workshop!
Reha Talaulikar, service
It was wonderful experience. I have suddenly rediscovered my sense of smell. A wonderful start to a Sunday.
Minni Aurora, psychologist
A good and knowledgeable session. Do conduct another again soon.
Siddhant Ramachandra, service
The workshop took me to different places in my imagination.
Priyanka Parab, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna
I enjoyed the smelling session in the very interesting workshop.
Snehal Phaldesai, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna
What a way to recall memories! Absolutely wonderful.
Anupama Kelkar, business, Vasco
I enjoyed the workshop thoroughly.
Meghana Kesarkar, Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna
I was eagerly looking for guidance regarding choosing a fragrance and the Zest workshop came to my rescue.
Vijaykumar Talaulikar, business
Lovely workshop. Took us into a new world of fragrances
Rena Menezes, service, Panaji
Excellent workshop. Please have some more.
Prasad Shetye, business, Margao