Ephemera Guide: Valentines from Beautiful Dark Hearts

Hello lovelies, so every once and a while I like to share the things that I love and inspire me in our Ephemera Guide. In contemplating what to boost in this month’s guide I thought it only proper to showcase some bad ass people and their amazing projects that I think you should know. They are…

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started My PhD

So I rarely go off on tangents here, but given the number of questions I’ve received about my PhD since starting the blog, I thought it might be a good idea to have a little sideline chat. Don’t worry, more smelly death stuff to come in the near future, but here are a few words of advice…

The Great Stink of London

What happens when a city of 3 million inhabitants has a sewer system that serves 1 million? The Great Stink! But can stench alone kill?

Chatting with Courtney & Laura from I Heart Dead Things

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to sit down and have an amazing chat with Courtney Iseman and Laura Wasson over at the I Heart Dead Things Podcast we talked all things death, olfaction, and dived into some of my work that has appeared recently in Order of the Good Death and Death and the…

Santa’s Creepy Friends: A Gift Guide

While I appreciate the decorations and lights of this time of year, there is something I find very daunting about the holidays. All this cheer, all the merriment, the world becomes a Disneyland ride, and it is all a bit…well, boring. As David Sedaris put it: While eight flying reindeer are a hard pill to…

In Memoriam, Farewell to Jon

On June 25th, Jon Underwood, one of the founders of Death Cafe, and an evangelist for frank discussions about death, passed due to acute promyelocytic leukaemia. He was 44 years old. I met Jon in 2016 at a talk I was giving in London. He was warm, kind, and supportive. We had a nice chat…

Ephemera Guide: Grimm & Glorious

Hello my darlings, I’m so sorry I’ve had another unintentional summer hiatus from the blog. I’ve been writing my dissertation which is like slowly slashing my heart with a thousand papercuts. But the end is in sight, and I finally have a few minutes to catch up. Keep your eyes peeled for a new article…

The Death/Scent Reading List

Over the last year I have had several requests for more information and deeper reads on subjects brought up on the blog. So after banging around my shelves a bit, here is the Death/Scent reading list. Some of them are staples of both olfactive and death literature, others are weird and wonderful deep cuts.  This…

The Carrion Flowers

When I was a teenager I pretended that I didn’t like flowers, “They’re the genitals of plants why would I want those as a gift, gross!” I made a huge show about telling everyone how much I hated them. Clubs in my school routinely sold flowers for fundraisers. While the idea is nice, in the…

Ephemera Guide: Valentines For Dark Nerds

Every month I like to boost those products, books, and people that have been giving me life over the past few weeks. This month things have a Valentine tilt, but with that dark musky nerdy vibe that is starting to become my hallmark. So here are a few gift ideas for your immortal beloved.

The Perfumed Mummy (Egypt Part IV)

Now we reach the intersection of material culture, belief systems, and death with the physical preparation of the body, which used many aromatic ingredients. The creation of the archetypical Egyptian mummy was a complex evolution that embraced the olfactive elements of the putrid and the divine.