Olfiction presents – Scented Words: Exploring Fragrances in Literature at The British Library 


We’re thrilled to share with you this fragrant event from Olfiction – that as a follower of The Perfume Society – we think you’ll really enjoy…

Start: Tuesday 27th March 2018  – 7.00 – 8.30pm

Venue: Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Scented Words: Exploring Fragrances in Literature at The British Library 

A talk on the use of scent in literature by translator Marta Dziurosz, including three literary texts specially translated into fragrances by three perfumers: Achille Riviello from Synarome, Pia Long from Olfiction and Tim Gage from CPL Aromas.

Have you ever read a book and become so immersed in the world the author has built, it’s almost as though you’ve been transported there? Perhaps you’ve better understood a character by the way the description has included their unique fragrance? Been able to picture a setting because the smells make it real? Evocative portrayals of smell are sprinkled throughout literature: used as metaphor, to enhance the mood or even (in one of our examples) as the unsettling precursor to a murder…

Olfiction have collaborated with The British Library to organise an event, where literary translator and fragrance enthusiast Marta Dziurosz will explain the symbiotic relationship between the worlds of literature and fragrance, and how our least scientifically explored sense – smell – is in fact woven throughout literary history as an emotional touchstone to inspire writers and inform the readers imagination.

Marta Dziurosz: “I’ve been exploring the various ways in which scent features in literature for years now. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of my ideas as to how writers use the evocative powers of scent in their books – and at the British Library, no less! Now three wonderful perfumers have created actual fragrances inspired by literature; this feels like perhaps the most visceral way to experience words and a treat that is not to be missed.” 

In publishing, a literary idea must be shared and translated from the writer to the editor – so too in fragrance must an idea be expressed and interpreted from the client’s brief through the perfumer and evaluator. Discussing the significance of scent in literature, using examples from the Bible through to contemporary works, the audience will also have the opportunity hear from the perfumers’ who took on the creative challenge of making some of the texts come alive. We will smell their specially composed and completely unique translations: from page to perfume.

Achille Riviello: “Approaching a project like this one is dramatically different from everyday brief work – it allows a truly holistic and experiential approach to creation. The idea was not only to take the description of the text, but also to add the surrounding elements. It is not so much a fragrance as it is an olfactory idea and experience.” 

Pia Long: “The concept of my chosen quote jumped out at me and I couldn’t wait to begin expressing it through scent – it was such a lovely opportunity to be creative – and in the case of the text I chose, also a little mischievous.” 

Tim Gage: “I was presented with a text as inspiration for a new fragrance and initially it read like a simple recipe. I quickly realised that what appeared to be an apparently simple rose base for the fragrance was in fact very complex as it involved gourmand fragrance notes such as quail and chestnut that we don’t have in the perfumery palette. The creative process began…” 

Tickets are £12.00 and £8.00 for Under 18’s (there are other concessions available). 

DATE: Tuesday 27th March 2018 

VENUE: Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

TIMES: 7.00 – 8.30pm

NB This is not an event held by The Perfume Society, rather organised by Olfiction. 


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