Historian Mike Dash explains just how awful medieval cities smelled.
"The beginning of my interest in fragrance coincided more or less with a momentous year in perfumery: 1981. It was in that first year of what would later be called the Big Eighties that a Beverly Hills boutique released an eponymous scent housed in a box with yellow stripes that evoked the store’s awning. Giorgio was an immediate and a ubiquitous smash, a powerhouse floral so outsized that restaurants were said to refuse seating to Giorgio-wearing patrons." The '80s ushered in a new era in perfumery. [more inside]
Is perfume art? Could it be? Or is it something else: a craft, a commercial product, an ornament, a luxury, a prosthetic, an aphrodisiac, a love letter, a prayer, a con? Why does it matter?[more inside]
"From a street-parked GhostFood truck, Simun and Songster and their team of trained staff will be serving a menu of three items, each of which conjures up a future dining experience for a food whose supply is currently threatened by climate change. " // "Its menu offers a curious collection of substitutes for potentially endangered foods: artificial recreations of chocolate, cod, and peanut butter." // "Pop one of the placebos--or “edible textural substitutes”--in your mouth and enjoy."
A genome-wide association study has linked a dislike of cilantro with a variant of a single nucleotide in a cluster of olfactory receptor genes. The palatability of cilantro has previously been a divisive subject on the blue. [more inside]
There's a growing movement to make sure that smells are incorporated into historical records. Historians, perfumers, and florists all want to make sure we can smell the past.
Take your nose on a stroll down memory lane with vintage perfumery. The Vintage Perfume Vault features fragrance reviews and articles on perfume history. Perfume Shrine offers articles on perfumery including essays on the science of fragrance and aroma materials, interviews with perfumers and industry professionals, trend-watching. Inspiration in Perfumery profiles Henri Robert, Andre Fraysse, Ernest Beaux and Edmond Roudnitska. More about olfactory delights from 1000 Fragrances. [more inside]
Inscentinel uses trained bees to sniff out drugs, explosives, and spoiled food.
Pork flavored stamp. In celebration of the Year of the Pig, China is releasing a stamp that smells (when scratched) and tastes (when licked) of sweet-and-sour pork. I thought this was a pretty innovative idea for a stamp. But it's not new. A few more examples (scroll down to "scratch-and-sniff").