January blues? Listen to these fantastic fragrant podcasts to make your commute a scented breeze

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…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

Fume Chat podcast's fragrant predictions for 2017…

To roll in the New Year, fragrance experts, friends and now regular Fume Chat ‘podcasters’ (think of podcasts as radio shows you can listen to online, if you’re new to the term!) Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunkley (aka The Candy Perfume Boy) decided to look ahead to all things fragrant for 2017 and ponder on the perfumes we’ll all be using in the months to come.
In this sixth episode, the fragrant twosome muse on questions including…
– Who will release a perfume in a bottle of their face?

– Will oud ever die?
– What scent can be described as ‘Rosa Dentata’?

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[Photo via Olfactaria’s Travels perfume blog, showing Nick and Thomas on a previous perfume-sniffing outing…]
Presented in their trademark down-to-earth but entirely knowledgable way, it’s a great listen (as always!) and we think their friendly discussions definitely encourage an ever-growing list of perfumes to seek out and try for yourselves.
We suggest you settle down with a cup of tea, put your feet up and listen to the episode here. You can catch up with any shows you may have missed, too!
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Love to Smell invited two special guests as Santa's little scent sniffers for their Christmas episode… can you guess who?

The special guests for the Christmas edition of Love to Smell are Thomas Dunkley, freelance fragrance consultant and blogger a.k.a ‘The Candy Perfume Boy‘ and… us (well, our Senior Writer Suzy Nightingale) and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to be invited! Scroll down to see the episode right here…
We’ve been watching Love to Smell since it began, hosted by the long-time friends and now business partners Nick Gilbert and Pia Long teaming up to air their views, news and fragrant expertise in a chatty, sometimes (deliberately) silly but overall completely encouraging way. And that was the inspiration, really, behind the whole show – a way to present perfume as friends talking, recommending their favourites and discussing new launches.
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Basically, Love to Smell is all about what we believe in: getting people to go and smell more perfumes, to widen their comfort zone of spritzable smellies and not to be afraid of the oft’ confusing lingo of the fragrance world – the very reason The Perfume Society was set up by our co-founders Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay in the first place: bridging the gap between brands and the people actually buying the perfumes, of bringing perfume alive in a (hopefully!) deeply fascinating yet completely accessible manner.
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And so of course when Nick and Pia asked if we’d like to be one of the special guests for the festive fragrance extravaganza, we donned tinsel (not usually a hair accessory we favour, but hey, we went with it,) jumped on the train with two of our current favourite perfumes (as requested) and a soft toy we’ve had since childhood (we didn’t refer to these in the the episode, but if you look carefully you can see Suzy’s sadly ragged Rabby Rabbit all crumpled and shabby on the shelf behind) and spent a day as their guests.
We really hope you enjoy the episode – our shopping list certainly grew after we sniffed the fragrances Thomas had chosen – and you can view the whole thing by clicking the link below…

And if that’s whetted your appetite, you can watch all of the back episodes on the Love to Smell YouTube channel, too.
Finally, we hope your scented Santa brings all the perfumes on your list, and wish all our fellow fragrance addicts a very Happy Christmas!

'Fume Chat – a new podcast show that has serious fun with fragrance…

We perfume-lovers are greedy types – ever hungry for more fragrance in all its forms: spritzing on layers of it, daily (obvs), surrounding ourselves with scented candles, reading books on it, watching shows [like Love to Smell on YouTube] about it and, now, listening to perfume-themed podcasts to-boot. More is always more, with us, and so of course we eagerly listened to the first ‘Fume Chat episode when it launched a couple of weeks ago…
Hosted by fragrance expert, writer and independent consultant Nick Gilbert and his long-time perfume blogging pal, Thomas Dunkley [aka, award-winning The Candy Perfume Boy]; ‘Fume Chat is a conversation between two highly knowledgable (and very funny) friends that you really feel part of as you listen. And for those of you who haven’t ventured into the world of podcasts yet, think of them as online radio shows that you can download and listen to whenever you wish. Particularly useful for tedious train journeys, we find!
The first episode is more of an introduction to the sorts of topics they hope to be covering, with Nick and Thomas picking some of their favourites from recently launched perfumes in their extensive wardrobes, and talking more generally about what they personally like to wear. The second episode, just released this Sunday, is themed around what will be an on-going feature: a fragranced duel.
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For each of these special shows, a perfume house is chosen – this time it was COMME de GARÇONS – and sees our hosts each picking three of their favourite examples, playing a kind of game of “smelly Top Trumps” before having a scented smack-down to agree on a winner.
As Thomas explains, the whole idea behind the show is to be informative but in a really enjoyable, relaxed way: ‘Fume Chat aims to have fun with fragrance – after all, it’s just perfume, so why it take it so seriously? We’ll be sniffing exciting scents, both new and old, battling head-to-head to see who can pick the best fragrances, and discussing many topics related to the smelly aspects of this wonderful world.’
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We’re certainly looking forward to hearing more from our scented friends, the perfect way to ease yourself into a new week over a lazy Sunday breakfast while dreaming of all the new scents you want to sniff. Anything that encourages people out there and exploring more perfumes gets our vote, and can we just say, we love the catchy theme tune, too!
Depending on their equally busy schedules, new episodes of ‘Fume Chat will be ready to listen to on a fortnightly basis, and they’re really simple to listen and subscribe to. Simply go to their page on iTunes or, if you’re not an Apple user, you can find the ‘Fume Chat RSS feed here. You can also follow ‘Fume Chat on Twitter to join in the conversation, and pay a visit to their Facebook page.
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Culture, bottled: pants, punk and pre-Raphaelites – eight shows to see and scents to wear there

At The Perfume Society we happen to fall firmly in the camp of perfume as an art form to be celebrated in its own right – a myriad of cultural and language crossovers in the areas of music and fragrance being particularly prevalent; with top, middle and base ‘notes’, perfumer’s ‘organs’ with their raw materials arrayed as the keys of an instrument, ‘accords’ and olfactory harmonies now standard references in scent.

Colours and painting, too, have their scent story to tell, with any number of world-famous noses experiencing the multiple layering of senses (people who ‘smell’ colours and musical notes, for example) known as synaesthesia – a subject we have previously explored in great depth within our Scented Letter magazine, indeed devoting an entire issue to the subject.

We’re blessed with a rich tapestry of diverse cultural events around the UK, and this summer promises a spectacular line-up of shows, festivals and arty comings-together with a little bit of something for everyone. As any ‘fume-head’s nose knows, one must always scent appropriately for the occasion (indeed, many of us pick our perfumes before we get dressed in the morning), and this set us wondering which perfumes would be best for culture vultures to wear at the panopoly of entertainment on offer in the months ahead….

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Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones – 5 April-4 September 2016, Saatchi Gallery

Their musical cavortings now – incredibly – span 54 years, and this lively exhibition reflects on the vitality the Stones have brought to the music scene at large. Purporting to be ‘the most comprehensive insight into the group’ ever seen, it’s even got a sensory depth to plunge in to – should you wish…  the scent supposedly evokes the ‘revolting digs’ the band lived in before becoming famous. A heady blend of Tandori chicken (Mick’s dish of choice, apparently) and fish & chips (the other members’ preference) along with the distinctive scent of unwashed socks and – well, all manner of things, one supposes – it’s likely even die-hard fans wouldn’t want to splash that all over. Maybe go for a stylish take on nostalgia with this old-school perfume oil, instead? Not the headlong dive into a hippie shop one might expect, it’s the resinously smoky birch tar that takes centre-stage, here; joined by vanilla on in the base (on the bass?) to further soothe animal insticts.

Le Labo Patchouli 24 £95 for 30ml perfume oil
Buy it at Liberty

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Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear – 16 April 2016-12 March 2017, V&A.

Exoloring ‘the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion and its role in moulding the body to a fashionable ideal’, this major new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum proves an eye-popping extravaganza of all things racy and lacey. From historical under-crackers that could raise more than titter, to some of the finest examples of scanties ever seen, we could think of nothing more appropriate than the designer who made it okay to show-off your underwear as outerwear – breathe in and plump for this latest, lighter version of JPG’s powdery orange blossom and musk-laden perfumed paean to the powerful curves a corset can bring.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Eau Fraiche £67 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

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Scented Swimming at the Also Festival – 17-19 June 2016, Warwickshire

With a plethora of fascinating talks, banquets and ‘happenings’ lined up, including a Mini Beast Safari, Wine and Philosophy tastings, talks about trans-humanism, and cream teas in the orangery, there was already a lot to tempt us here. Add a perfumed book club over afternoon gin cocktails with our fragrant pal Odette Toilette, the rather lavish sounding promise of a ‘Scented Swim in Compton Verney’s stunning lake to the soundtrack of live classical piano’, AND one of Sarah McCartney’s perfume making workshops – we were sold. Of course you could eventually be weaing a scent you create yourself, but if you can’t bear to go bare, drench yourself with this British take on the Oriental – a bright mix of citrus, jasmine, vanilla and cedarwood, it’s the scent of sun-kissed skin and happiness.

4160 Tuesdays Sunshine & Pancakes £90 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Roullier White

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Missoni Art Colour – 6 May-4 September 2016, Fashion & Textile Museum

Founded in 1953 by Ottavio Missoni and his wife, Rosita, they actually began by knitting tracksuits for the Italian’s 1948 Olympic team – a rather incongruous start for what went on to become an iconic fashion house noted for their flair for colour, patterns and intricately woven fabrics; but all becomes clear in this wide-ranging exhibition when you discover Ottavio was also a former Olymic athlete. Featuring a stunning central pyramid of fashion mannequins, and with abstract artworks and home furnishings, it’s a feast for the eyes. What else to wear than the colourful new Missoni scent, designed to be the finishing touch to any stylish outfit it’s a distinctly Italian confident concotion of bergamot, pear, jasmine and tonka bean with a woody, soft musk trail.

Missoni Missoni £42 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at The Fragrance Shop

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Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion – until 5 June 2016, Liverpool

Having graced many a student’s walls, don’t make do with the dog-eared blu-tacked posters – go and see the real red-heads and wanly pouting beauties in person. With over 120 major works by the masters including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, the significance of being exhibited in Liverpool is explored with the history of the city’s Autumn Exhibitions – a tradition that allowed this most overtly poetic and literary inspired movements to flourish. To complete the picture? A spellbindingly beautiful re-working of rose (perfumer Dominic Ropion using an unprecedented concentration, here) with broad brush strokes of refined patchouli, powdered bezoin, a sprinkle of cinnamon, smooth sandalwood and a glistening bunch of ripe berries fresh for the plucking.

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady £145 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Selfridges

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Bees (And the Odd Wasp) in My Bonnet – 18 March-29 September 2016, Oxford

Not merely vital as pollinators for the thousands of flowers and other naturally sourced materials the majority of fragrances still rely on, but for the survival of the human race itself, artist Kurt Jackson has long been obsessed with the litle buzzers. Ever since he first enrolled as a student of Zoology at the University of Oxford, Jackson has focused on bees, wasps and other pollinating insects as his main source of inspiration; and together with his various canvases, sculptures and prints, the university have loaned some of their extensive archival collection to support this exhibition, and highlight the true importance of these creatures we cannot take foregranted. It had to be honey-laden scent, of course, and bolstered by the darkly glimmering magnificence of oudh and a delightfully tempered, lightly musky dry down – this one has it in oodles.

Floris Honey Oud £160 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Floris

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Glastonbury Festival – 22-26 June 2016, Somerset

The day after legendary musician Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, the idea for the first Glastonbury Festival was born – the date of the (originally free) musical shin-dig was moved to coincide with the Summer Solstice, and 1971 saw an estimated crowd of 12,000 enjoy performances by Hawkwind, David Bowie, Joan Baez and Fairport Convention among others. It’s fair to say the numbers have increased somewhat since those days, but it’s still an absolute British institution on the live music scene, and with Adele, Muse, New Order, Coldplay and ZZ Top announced for 2016 so far, it’s set to be a record-breaking year. Another British institution is the almost inevitable torrential rain an ensuing mud-bath. We say, be ahead of the crowds and drench yourself in this before the heavens open, with cool ‘petrichor’ notes – that unique smell straight after a downpour – somehow captured in scent; it’s sure to refresh even under extreme circumstances.

Library of Fragrance Rain £15 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots

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Punk.London May 13-September 19 2016, London

We bet you’ll be joining us in stocking up on safety pins and sprinkling your rubber trousers with talc for this year-long celebration of perhaps the most subversive – and influential – youth-led cultural movement in living history. Showcasing fashions, music and art that were all integral to making punk so iconic, and images of rainbow-coloured mohawked teens as synonymous with the image of London around the world as a red bus; it’s a joyfully exuberant yet important doccumentation of a genre that continues to break boundaries. With the BFI Southbank screening a selection of contemporary films starring, among others, the now Grand Dame of punk, Vivienne Westwood and Ari Up, lead singer of The Slits; it might be that you Boudoir-it-up with one of Westwood’s fragrance collection. However, for a scent that really embodies the shake it up and shock ’em nature of the scene; we tentatively suggest this adrenaline-infused fragrance. Never a house to pull back from the edge, it’s a blend of arousal-inspired accords on a bed of orris, opoponax, coconut and musk. Devisive as the spirit of punk itself, it’s a love or hate you’ll not forget in a hurry…

Etat Libre d’Orange Secretions Magnifiques £70 for 50ml eau de parfums
Buy it from Les Senteurs

Written by Suzy Nightingale