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 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.

The Lost History of Women in Chemistry: The First Alchemist

This is the second post in the D/S Women’s History Month series, The Lost History of Women in Chemistry, to see Part I: The First Perfumer click here In the Indie perfume universe, the word alchemy pops up a lot. It graces the title of several popular companies. It also tends to be the word…

The Lost History of Women in Chemistry:The First Perfumer

This post is no longer available click here to redirect to Tapputi Bellatekallim: The First Perfumer? Author’s Note: In 2016 I wrote the post, The Lost History of Women in Chemistry: The First Perfumer. In the interim, my knowledge of Assyriology and Mesopotamian olfactory history has grown, and I no longer agree with how I…

Mummy Powder Incense?

To the modern Westerner, incense is the friend of the pothead teenager and long-time companion of the hippy.  Incense is perhaps the oldest form of human scent manufacturing, however.

Egypt’s Sacred Scent Business

There is no scent culture with more mystery or confusion than that of the ancient Egyptians. Their perfume production wasn’t the oldest in the world nor the most sophisticated, yet the mystique of Egypt drips with fragrance. Perhaps it was because perfume and cosmetics played such a vital role in everyday life.

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.

History & Alchemy?

History and Alchemy is devoted to the myth and history of scent production. We’ll explore how rare and beautiful scents became commodities, grave goods, and items of legend. The first post in this section will appear tomorrow, which is based on the events depicted above. Any guesses as to what is brewing?