Let’s explore the roots of this ancient rose festival, how the Romans memorialised their dead with aromatic flowers, and how vestiges of the Rosalia exists today.
The Odour of Sanctity: When the Dead Smell Divine
If corrupt smells are a sign of a corrupt nature, what happens when a holy person dies? It is in this Western mind-body dualism that the concept of the Odour of Sanctity is born.
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…
The Body as Art: Bone Shields (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…
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.
You must be logged in to post a comment.