The Redolent Plague Doctor?

We’ve all seen him. A dark figure, robed in black, carrying his long examining stick like a scythe. A pale beak glimpsing out from beyond his broad-brimmed hat. A carrion crow turned man. Such nightmare fuel could only spring forth from the fever dreams of a Dark Age mind, right? His beak stuffed with aromatic…

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…

More Spooktacular Fragrance Pairings for Halloween

Spooky season has descended upon us once again and with it the age-old quest for the perfect Halloween costume. Personally, I’ve been oscillating between Dolly Parton and Pugsley Addams this year. That’s right boys, get you a girl who can pull off both Dolly and Pugsley! All this mulling has led me back to one…

Scented Prayers: Copal & the Day of the Dead

With the success of movies like Coco and The Book of Life, along with the popularity of children’s books like The Dead Family Diaz, it is clear that the English speaking world is more familiar than ever with Día de Muertos (aka Day of the Dead). Overall I think this is a good thing. Latin American…

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 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 Body as Art: War Bones (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 This month we are going to be examining human remains used in artistic pieces. Some of these works serve…

The Chemistry of Death and Desire

What does fleshy tuberose, cooked Brussel sprouts, chocolate, the musk of human sex, faeces, and a decomposing body all have in common?