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.
Rebozo de Luto: the Aromatic Mourning Shawl of Mexico
There are many ways people mark time when it comes to death, but one of the most elegant is the rebozo de luto or the perfumed mourning shawls.
Ephemera Guide: Flowers, Hearts, and Gloriously Macabre Valentines
February for a good half of the globe is a miserable month. A month both wet and cold where the dream of shorts-weather seems both tantalisingly close and yet so very far away. It is at this time we turn our minds to love, as if carnal body heat will somehow shift this snow. Whether…
The Chemistry of Death and Desire
What do fleshy tuberose, cooked Brussel sprouts, chocolate, the musk of human sex, faeces, and a decomposing body all have in common?
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