[Updated] Bottling Ghosts: Can & Should We Try to Capture the Scent of Our Dead Loved Ones?(for $650 a bottle)

In 2015 Kalain, a French start-up opened to a flurry of news articles. They claim to bottle the olfactive essence of your dead relatives for bereavement purposes. The process is simple; send them a scent infused item like a pillowcase, they work their magic, and bada bing bada boom you get a bespoke essence of your loved one Patrick... Continue Reading →

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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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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.

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