Summer is (mostly) in the air, so we’re going to be listening to even more perfume podcasts as we sashay forth in… (cross your fingers) actual sunshine!
Fragrance, smell and scent-themed podcasts are on the rise – and about time, too, we say, given the number devoted to our other senses. You can find our previous must-listen-to lists by typing perfume podcasts into the search bar, or see our previous post, here.
With 15 million+ (and rising) regular podcast listeners in the U.K. alone, have you added any of these to scent your airwaves…?
The Sniff – Aurelien Guichard
Interviewing one of France’s top perfumers, who’s worked for Nina Ricci, Guerlain, Gucci, Issey Miyaki and many more, host Nicola Thomis talks to Guichard about coming from a family of perfumers, growing rose centifolia on his organic farm in Grasse, and founding his own house, Matiere Premiere.
Escentric Molecules Molecast – Not According to Plan
‘Things did not go according to plan when Geza Schoen launched Escentric Molecules. They went ridiculously, spectacularly better.’ If you’ve not yet caught up with EM founder Geza Shoen’s podcast, it’s well worth your while diving in to his (always eccentric) world. Here he discusses why off-plan ventures for a perfumer / fragrance house often turn out the best.
On the Scent – The Icons
Previously part of Outspoken Beauty, On the Scent’s proved so popular it’s launched on its own podcast platform. In episode 6, co-hosts Nicola Bonn and our own Senior Writer, Suzy Nightingale, enter the world of some of the most iconic fragrances of all time; discovering their history, the huge statements that they made and why they’re still relevant now.
Smell Yeah– Smell Loss & Dysfunction
Irene Plax is a former restaurant cook and cooking teacher, and ‘has always noticed aromas before other people.’ Here Irene investigates the psychology behind how smells touch every one of us, including those with smell loss or dysfunction, across a surprising number of industries.
Perfume Room– What Makes a Fragrance ‘Easy to Wear’?
Hosted by comedian, dating expert, and perfume lover/advisor Emma Vernon, in this episode Emma chats with Rosie Johnston. Togtether they divulge their mutual love of white musk and chat about the inspiration behind each of the seven frags in Rosie’s collection, as well as some of her inspiration for future scents.
Podcasts now have an incredible 15 million+ regular listeners in the U.K. alone, covering literally any topic you can think of – from ‘An Unusual History of Gnomes‘ to the frankly terrifying-sounding ‘Dental Hacks.’ Thankfully, some more pleasant topics are also included, and we’re continually excited to see the growing number of fragrance and smell-related podcasts.
According to the website statista.com, ‘Podcast listenership in the United Kingdom (UK) has been increasing year-on-year, reaching an estimated 15.6 million listeners in 2020‘ because, simply put, ‘more brands start to see opportunity in this format due to its audience reach and ability to build a following…’ What’s more, they continue, ‘podcasts (news, interviews, and serialised formats) were named as the top three audio initiatives publishing experts saw as being crucial areas of focus in the year ahead.’
We’re constantly keeping an ear out for fragrance-related content of all kinds we can share with you, and if you type ‘podcast’ in the search bar, you’ll see several lists of scent-themed shows we’ve already recommended. But if you’re anything like us you’ll always need more on the listening list, so here’s some further fragrant offerings to be going on with…
Describing themselves as ‘A blissfully stupid, miserably niche, and earnestly fascinated podcast that exists at the intersection of perfumery, comedy, art, critique, alchemy, 16th-century Venetian fashion, and queer emotional baggage,’ hosts Kris and Montana get up close and personal with the movers and shakers of the niche fragrance world.
BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed: Perfume
In a fragrantly-themed episode of the long-running series, presenter Laurie Taylor looks at the new book, Scent of Empires, A fascinating slice of scent history we’ll be reviewing soon! Exploring with author Karl Schloegel ‘the history of the 20th century through the prism of two scents, Chanel No 5 and Red Moscow. Also, how do scents become invested with meaning?’
Behind the Fragrance
Matt and Antonio are the founders of Thomas Clipper, an indie men’s cologne and grooming company in London. The series follows the development their latest fragrance – Atlantic – but goes beyond to discuss men’s fragrance and smell in general. It’s a fun & fact-filled listen, as they say: ‘The source of the word “inspire” means “to breathe in”. …Bottom line: scent matters.’
The Sniff Podcast
Nicola’s a fragrance blogger and long-time friend of The Perfume Society, and she regularly interviews interesting people from the perfume world. This time it’s a deep dive into the world and work of niche perfume Karen Timson, where ‘We also uncover some of Karen’s scented memories and talk about what it takes to be an indie perfumer in the marketplace today.’
On the Scent is an olfactory offshoot of the Outspoken Beauty podcast series, hosted by Nicola Bonn – named one of Top 10 podcasts by Harpers Bazaar, Stylist and Glamour among others. Nicola teams up with fragrance expert, freelance fragrance journalist (and our senior writer) Suzy Nightingale to discuss favourites and give ‘perfume prescriptions’ to listener queries.
We’ve never listened to so many podcasts right now, how about you? So here’s SEVEN new scent themed podcasts for your daily walk, that will whisk you to summer meadows and brighten your mood, even if you’re trudging through the rain.
Filling the endless hours and soothing nerves with fascinating chatter, it’s extremely exciting how many fragrance and scent themed podcasts are filling the airwaves at the moment, don’t you think? If you’ve not caught up with our previous lists of ‘must-listen’ episiodes, simply type ‘podcasts’ in the search box and you’ll have several hours to delight in.
Meanwhile, here are the ones we’re chasing away the blues with currently…
BBC Radio 4 Extra: The Perfumed Mountaineer
This story begins by recounting the notorious 1980’s episode of The Russell Harty Show, when Grace Jones slaps the presenter for ignoring her. It’s an incident that’s gone down in televisual history; but have you ever noticed the fellow guest, an ‘elderly man, dressed in a double-breasted suit’ sitting beside her, ‘looking more than a little alarmed at developments’? This, it’s revealed, was Walter Poucher – equally famed, at the time, for his perfumery with Yardley, and his mountain photography skills. As his utterly gripping story is unravelled, we learn Walter had a penchant for wearing lipstick and eyeshadow while climbing mountains and talking about perfume, was befriended by Elizabeth Taylor, and used to like ‘coming down to dinner [at mountaineering lodges] in full slap and gold lamé gloves.’ He sounded completely fabulous in every way, and we’re left wanting to know much more…
We reported on this brilliant new podcast/smell-walk in full, but it’s worth pointing out again for those who may have missed it. Jan Uprichard is an artist based in Northern Ireland, whose work revolves around ‘smell, walking, archives, mapping, food, sound, film, bookmaking, botany, and interventions…’ She was asked by the Centre for Contemporary Art in Derry to devise a smell-themed walk, and recorded a podcast to go with it. But the point is – you can listen from anywhere, and her soothing voice (and gentle guidance on how to navigate by smell and be mindful of your breathing) is just the tonic we need.
Outspoken Beauty: On the Scent
A podcasting pro, host Nicola Bonn has already interviewed some of the world’s leading movers and shakers in the skincare and beauty spheres, but her true passion is really… fragrance. Hurrah! Recently, she invited our very own Senior Writer, Suzy Nightingale, to be the co-host and fragrance expert for a spin-off show entitled ‘On the Scent.’ In this first episode, they name the fragrances that have been getting them through lockdown, Nicola probably reveals too much about a fireman ex, and Suzy prescribes perfumes in answer to listener’s queries.
The Scent Geeks
Presented by @fragstoriches and @fragmental.uk, this is a weekly and often humorous look at the scent world that feels like dropping in to a conversation of two fragrance-obsessed friends. In this episode, the twosome talk romance, filming and their tribute to the passing of fellow YouTuber, Carlos Powell(a.k.a Brooklyn Fragrance Lover).
Escentric Molecules Molecast
In the third episode of this regular series, perfumer Geza Schoen (the founder and ‘nose’ behind so-successful cult house, Escentric Molecules) reveals ‘the story behind the story’, specifically discussing how he went ‘…from working at one of the big five fragrance manufacturers to being an indie perfumer at a time when they were as rare as hen’s teeth.’ Always well worth listening to, Geza is an extremely down-to-earth perfumer who explains everything really clearly, and can be said to have completely revolutionised the fragrance industry as a whole, having showcased ‘synthetic’ notes as brilliant artistry, not something to hide or shy away from talking about.
Waving good riddance to the dumpster that was 2020, our genial hosts, Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley, have nevertheless found some fascinating fragrances from last year to sniff their way through, rate and discuss. As usual, ‘Hijinks ensue.’ Well it really wouldn’t be Fume Chat if no hijinks were involved! Listening to this podcast is always like catching up with two best friends over a drink or three – something we’re sorely missing, so this is the next best thing.
Every Little Thing
We always love this podcast for host Flora Lichtman’s proudly terrible puns, and the endlessly fascinating list of topics prompted by listeners who ring in to the ELT Helpline. This episode was particularly of interest, as it focuses on our nostrils and the sense of smell. Get ready to hold on to your hats (or face masks) though, as it’s revealed *we only use one nostril at a time to breathe and smell through!* More than that, it seems we can actively switch which nostril we’re using by stuffing a fist into our armpit… Learn why/how and WTF with expert rhinologist, Simon Gane.
We’re so excited to see more dedicated perfume podcasts (and fragrantly themed episodes of other series) starting to blossom, and here’s our pick of the current bunch…
The Sniff – Nicola Thomis is a fragrance-obsessed reviewer who, in previous episodes, has looked at soothing scents for troubled times, spoke with language translator, (and sometime Perfume Society fellow contributor) Marta Dziurosz, about the language of smell, and interviewed some of the hottest names in niche perfumery. The lastest episode is a vox-pop of perfumes people have been reaching for, and we love listening!
Molecast – The brilliant perfumer Geza Schoen and writer, Susan Irvine, are the hosts of this Escentric Molecules podcast, with Geza taking a deep dive in to the way he creates fragrances and Susan exploring the wider world of fragrance terms and techniques. This episodes looks at notes ‘from the stinky to sublime‘…
Outspoken Beauty – Host, Nicola Bonn, dedicates this episode to her ‘favourite fragrance of all time’: the iconic Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady. Hearing from the perfumer, Dominique Ropion, himself, plus a plethora of celebrity fans, like Val Garland and Nicola Chapman, say why they’re similarly obsessed. Our fragrant friend Odette Toilette also adds her knowledge, and this beautifully produced documentary is an absolute treat of an olfactory ode.
Fume Chat – We’ve been fans of this down-to-earth and chatty ppodcast since it began, and now we’re up to Season 3 if you can believe it! Co-hosts,fFragrance expert & consultant, Nick Gilbert and blogger & writer, Thomas Dunckley (aka The Candy Perfume Boy) use this latest episoide to take the lid off Playful Perfumery using ‘novel accords’. It’s always such a pleasure to tune in – they’re great friends as well as colleagues, and it really shows.
Given that we are all now on #lockdown for the forseeable in the UK, and that many of us are looking for new ways to unwind and be entertained, we thought it time to put together a new list of perfume and smell-themed podcasts we’ve been enjoying of late.
Why not settle back with a brew and a biscuit, and plug in to these scent-tastic listens to take your mind off the worries for a while? Simply click on the links to listen.
Fume Chat is back for a THIRD season, and we couldn’t be more delighted. On the latest episode, hosts (and great fragrant friends of The Perfume Society) Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley (a.k.a The Candy Perfume Boy) are chatting with the utterly brilliant James Craven – the Fragrance Archivist at legendary London boutique Les Senteurs. James talks about his incredible career while sniffing through five iconic niche fragrances, and we defy you not to be charmed!
The Sniff Perfume Podcast, hosted by blogger Nicola Thomis, ‘takes a deep dive into things fragrance and scent related, shining the spotlight on niche and artisan perfumes, the creators and their stories.’ And this year, they are nominated for a Fragrance Foundation Jasmine Award! In the most recent Sniff episide, Nicola chats to Chris Wilkinson from the YouTube channel Fragmental, about what it takes to be a video influencer…
The Scented Gent is hosted by Nick, who’s the Grooming Editor for Menswear Style, and also has a great Instagram account @thescentedgent where he reviews his favourite fragrances, and sets Friday Fragrance Challenges to ‘name that fragrance’ based on the description. And the podcast episodes are like a catch-up with a perfumed pal, brining news and musings for fragrance lovers.
Invisibilia is an always-fascinating podcast that ‘fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.’ Thi particular episode focusses on the amazing story of Joy Milne – a woman we wrote about last year, whose sense of smell is ‘a biological gift that allows her to see things that will happen in the future that no one else can see.’
I AM HERETIC is a podcast by the niche fragrance house Heretic’s founder, perfumer and creative director, Douglas Little. Giving a sneak peek behind the scenes of the fragrance industry, he ‘…explores this fascinating and the extraordinary people it has led him to. The conversations are fun and educational, with plenty of surprise guests.’
We’d love to know which perfume-related podcasts you have been enjoying most recently – are there some fragrant shows scenting the airways we should listen to next…?
Facing the January commute with a feeling of ennui? Download a fragrant podcast to blow away those blues!
We’re thrilled that fragrance is finally getting spoken about more frequently in the media, and in a way that confirms our belief that people are genuinely hungry to hear more – not only about the history, but the truly fascinating new technologies and advances being made. And there’s a plethora of perfume-related content out there at the moment.
We have rounded up some of the very best fragrant listening for you. So sit back, take a deep breath, and immerse yourself in these scented soundscapes…
Fume Chat has long been one of our favourites, presented by fragrance experts (and great friends) Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley. In this latest episode they look back at some of the best fragrances of the decade.
We were so happy to hear We Wear Perfume’s, and regular correspondent for The Perfume Society, Amanda Carr on BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours, discussing fragrance used for wellness and future trends. (Start listening to the conversation at 29:33).
Radio 4 really have a penchant for perfume, it seems, as another of their regular programmes took a fascinating look at the ‘smells and bells’ aspect of religion in Beyond Belief. They ask why smell has become an important part of many faiths and how it enhances religious observance, but also discuss the importance of the sense of smell and memory for everyone – an excellent listen we highly recommend!
Brilliant natural perfumer Mandy Aftel has inspired many to follow her lead, and mentored the founder of Heretic perfumes. The author of nine books about perfumery and essential oils, she is a wealth of information and always great to listen to, so the perfect guest for the Heretic Perfume podcast.
The AMERICAN PERFUMER® Podcast is a fantastic way of keeping up to date with the very latest niche fragrant happenings across the pond, and this episode hands the mic over to self-taught perfumers John Biebel & Hans Hendley.
Those interested in vintage fashion and fashion history will adore exploring the back-catalogue of the Dressed podcast, but this episode takes a look at the ancient process of extracting fragrant oils through enfleurage.
In a perfumed partnership with Fenwick, the presenters discuss the perfumes they can’t get enough of, and talk about fragrancing their homes in innovative ways, in the Outspoken Beauty podcast.
Pinot & Perfume ask: are robots creating fragrances? Spoilers: yes, and they have been for ages (mostly measuring fragrant materials and mixing them precisely), but now we are looking at a future where ‘robots’ might be designing the perfumes you wear..
In this edition of the popular beauty podcast Fat Mascara, David Seth Motlz, of D.S. & Durga, talks about how he became a self-trained perfumer, the bacon-y smell of autumn leaves, and the difference between natural and synthetic fragrance compounds.
Looking at the science behind the beauty indsutry, this episode of Beauty Brains asks what the terms unscented and fragrance free actually mean. Should you avoid fragrance in skin care products? What’s the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances? They seek to find the answers for you…
This series of short podcasts offers bite-sized French lessons to help you better explain yourself, and Learn French By Podcast. Here they will aid you to pass comment on fragrances – food, perfume, flowers, nature, and so on. ‘Let’s study, in this short lesson, some expressions which will allows us to do that. We’ll meet the verbs “sentir” and “mettre”, in particular. We’ll also see how to say that something smells quite strong.’
Whichever of these fragrance-related podcasts you listen to, we’re sure you’ll be equally thrilled to find the world of fragrance slowly (very slowly) opening up to the wider world. Like, subscribe and leave reviews to encourage this ongoing media discussion – and who knows what the next year will bring to further fragrance our airwaves…?