One day I smelled something totally irresistible

To each person, a perfume smells different. Anyone who smells a perfume unlocks memories that are uniquely theirs and associate what they smell with those memories. Some smells, of course, are guaranteed to unlock pleasant memories that we find attractive – flowers, rain, fresh bread, freshly cut lawn or hay, incense, chocolate, fruit, the sea, etc.

The putti probably did it first – perfume advertising through the ages

Have you ever wondered why glamorous, eye-candy advertisements for perfume are the norm? Today, perfume advertisements and commercials proliferate all media, and companies try to outdo each other with their storytelling. Yet, perfumes are still produced the slow, laborious, scientific way they have always been. And each perfume tells its own story, which is different for…Read more »

Black Roses and Frilly Tulips – The myths surrounding unusual flowers

There are highly exotic-looking flowers in the world, and some look fantastic but smell of nothing, and some smell fabulous but look weird. Here are two extremes: the “Black Rose” of Halfeti, Turkey, and the extremely vivid “Fringed Tulips” which are prolific this time of the year. Strange looks but great fragrance Halfeti, in the southeastern…Read more »

Quantum Biology explains why we “hear” with our noses

Prof. Jim Al-Khalili’s fascinating program The Secrets of Quantum Physics, from BBC Four, included a particularly intriguing section on Quantum Biology. In the second episode in the series, Let There be Life, he explains the “vibration theory of olfaction”, and he does it so eloquently and coherently (and beautifully!) that even I could grasp the general…Read more »

Recreating scents as “memory perfumes”

People do all kinds of things in an effort to keep or get back something of the person they loved who has died. They make diamonds of their ashes, they have paintings of them, they dedicate park benches to them in their favourite parks, keep their clothes in their wardrobes until the smell has faded,…Read more »