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.
Happy Krampusnacht everyone! It's that special time of year when we gather round the fire and hope that we will not be carted away to the lair of a horned sasquatch with a sadistic streak and a penchant for children...oh the holidays! It's in Krampus' honour that we present this year's holiday gift guide. If you survive the... Continue Reading →
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... Continue Reading →
Perfumers are not all sugar violets and sunshine. The darker aspects of nature have inspired these alchemists to create some of the most beautiful scents. Here are a few fragrances that celebrate doom and gloom and add the final touch to the perfect costume. The Hippy Witch Costume: Gossamer dresses, loose cascading waves ala Stevie Nicks,... Continue Reading →
This post is part of an ongoing series on fragrance in Ancient Egypt. Find out more about the sacred business of Egyptian perfume-making in Part I and how mummies ended up in magic incense in Part II. As a society, we have an anosmic view of history. We don't think about the way things smelt or... Continue Reading →
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. With a documented history of over 7,000 years, we were making this stuff for 3,000 years before we finally got around to domesticating the cat. Those scented... Continue Reading →