It’s a tradition around these parts that we ring in Halloween with a special post by pairing fragrances with costume ideas, but that did not feel right this year. As we round the corner on year two of this pandemic, I don’t have the bandwidth to pretend as if I might actually be going to…
The Sweet Smell of Plague Preservatives
This post is part of the Scented History of the Plague series. If you are not familiar with the history of the plague in Europe, you may want to pop over to our primer first or learn about why miasma was important to the Black Death. In today’s post, we will be discussing the deliciously…
The Rise of Miasma
This post is part of the Scented History of the Plague series. If you are not familiar with the history of the plague in Europe, you may want to pop over to our primer first. In this post, we’re discussing the rise of Miasma Theory during the Second Pandemic and how it impacted European olfactive…
A Holiday Gift Guide For Difficult People
Let’s face it, I’m difficult, you’re difficult, Aunt Kathy is difficult, everyone is a pain in the ass to buy for. No matter what you celebrate this time of year, you may find yourself with a difficult person on your list. It’s not that they are rude or mean about your gift, its just that…
Ephemera Guide: Poisoners, Flower Factories, & Malheureux
Hello my lovelies, November is here and my mind turns to thinking about what I’m thankful for. For me, the inspiration of amazing artist has been something that has kept me going and creating through a year that has been politically grim, to say the least. We need people out there creating beautiful things even…
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
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.
I Smell Witches (Scent the Scene)
In this series, we examine aspects of death and bereavement through art, olfaction, and imaginative thinking. Feel free to follow along at home and leave your take on this scented death meditation below. This Week’s Muse Witches on the Sabbath, Luis Ricardo Falero, 1878
The Chemistry of Death and Desire
What do fleshy tuberose, cooked Brussel sprouts, chocolate, the musk of human sex, faeces, and a decomposing body all have in common?
An Apple of Whale Poop a Day Keeps The Black Death at Bay
If you are a lover of perfumes, you have many joys, one of them is getting to explain the mystical substance known as Ambergris to the unsuspecting. Aged ambergris (literally grey amber) has an earthy mildly marine sweetness. Think of warm, sea-salted skin after a day of sailing.
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