The Perfumed Lionheart

Richard I of England was blessed with a great head of hair and a great nickname, Cœur de Lion, Lionheart. He was also the great-great-grandson of William the Conqueror. Born into the Plantagenet-Angevin royal family, he inherited immense wealth and privilege even if his parents were the dysfunctional Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Richard…

The Sketchy History of Four Thieves Oil

The internet has a thing about salacious history. Give the crowd a good old-timey murder, and they will produce 150,000 blog posts and eight true crime podcasts devoted to telling you the real story. While I give them points for enthusiasm, these works often employ some very doggy research methods. Copy and paste is in pretty heavy rotation. Researched…

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…

The Putrid and the Divine Book Club 2019

A few years back, after receiving several requests for more information on topics covered in the blog, I made a lengthy list of over 50 books to indulge our olfactive bookworms. In retrospect, that list was a bit daunting. At first, I was planning to just do an updated tighter edit of that list but instead,…

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…

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…

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?

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…