The Poisoned Garden: Lily of the Valley

You aren’t supposed to play favourites when you love smells as much as I do. I’ve harped on this very blog before about how there are no bad smells, just smells giving us different information, but I don’t like Lily of the Valley…there I said it. I don’t like the plant, I don’t like the…

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 Queen of the Poison Garden: Atropa Belladonna

When I was a girl, I went for a walk in the forest with my family. While prancing about, as I was wont to do, I came across a bush of the most beautiful berries surrounded by flowers that looked, to me, like small purple bluebells. I was young, but I remember the allure of…

The Poisoned Garden: Datura

Remember kids, the most toxic plants are often the most innocent-looking and alluring. Datura is a girly sweet-floral, but its other names give away its true nature (Devil’s Trumpets, Hell’s Bells, Poisoned Moon Flower).

Emerging Research on the Scent of Death

Here at Death/Scent we tend to play with pleasant fragrances that are used to create an atmosphere of sacred space during death rituals. I am not, however, adverse to talking about the darker side of scent. Especially when new research on the fetid haze of human decomposition may lead to improved forensic recovery. So let’s…

The Chemistry of Death and Desire

What does a fleshy tuberose, cooked Brussel sprouts, chocolate, the musk of human sex, faeces, and a decomposing body all have in common?