Shezmu: The Demon-God of Egyptian Perfume

If you are a fan of fragrance history, you may be familiar with the Egyptian god Nefertem. He is the personification of the Cosmic Lotus in the Egyptian creation myth. Nefertem is the protector of dawn and patron of Egypt’s beloved blue lotuses. Nefertem rises from the river at daybreak each morning with his flowers…

Nuri & Hayley Talk 7 Years of Perfume

  As part of our anniversary celebrations, I sat down to do a duelling interview with Hayley Croom from Paintbox Soapworks. We discussed seven years of writing, the feral qualities of solo entrepreneurship, and learning to love cherry accords. Usually, my interviews can only be found in my monthly newsletter, Aromatica de Profundis, but we…

Tappūtī-Bēlet-ekallim: The First Perfumer?

  If you Google Tappūtī-Bēlet-ekallim, you will find dozens of articles praising her as the first perfumer. Online, Tappūtī-Bēlet-ekallim is presented as a feminist, a scientist, and an entrepreneur. Yet, those concepts would have been utterly foreign to her lived experience. Images accompanying these stories feature Babylonian goddesses, Sumerian queens, and Urukian tablets. They’re a…

Victorian Tear Catchers Are Trash

It seems like every year, my colleagues and I have to dispute the myth of Victorian Tear Catchers. I don’t know how or why disproving internet myths about perfume became my life, but here we are. So let’s go a bit deeper than space would allow in that tweet, and let’s hope I never have to…

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 dodgy research methods. Copy-and-paste is in pretty heavy rotation. Researched and…

Introducing Our New Newsletter!

I am so excited to announce I will be publishing a monthly newsletter, Aromatica de Profundis, starting August 1st, 2021, with enrollment opening July 1st! Why a newsletter? Well, I have multiple areas of interest and research.  I’ve found that some people know me from one aspect of what I do but have no idea…

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…