Which are the most fragrant roses on earth? Read our guide to a heavenly scented garden…

Is anything more disappointing than spotting a voluptuously gorgeous rose, cupping it gently in your hands and going in for the sniff… only to discover it’s completely without scent? Obviously we adore fragrance here at The Perfume Society, and roses just have to be in our Top Three Flowers Ever – so as part of our on-going celebrations we’d love to share with you a particularly fragrant feature on the very best scented roses you can grow, to make your garden smell like heaven on earth…
Written for us by Country Living Gardens editor, Stephanie Donaldson, The Most Fragrant Roses on Earth was previously an exclusive feature in our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter… From interviews with the world’s top perfumers, a round-up of the latest launches you absolutely must sniff right now and a plethora of perfumed features – we have our finger firmly on the pulse to bring you all the news your nose should know.
Available in flickable-format online to subscribers, so many of you told us you were laboriously printing it out at home, page by page, that we listened and also made it available in a gorgeously glossy print version to satiate your scent-reading lusts (and save your printer cartridges!) In fact, we’re honoured to have readers worldwide, with the launch of our International Subscription, and now you can join the ever-growing throng to see the sort of thing you’ve been missing out on so far.
So, settle back with a cuppa and breathe in the heady scent of possibility for the rose garden of your dreams…




 
Written by Suzy Nightingale

The top 3 perfume tips to ensure you're a nose in the know…

‘Can you help save my marriage?’ is probably the most – um, unexpected request we’ve had (terribly nice chap who phoned to ask for advice on the things he should tell his wife in order to justify buying himself a rather costly bottle of niche perfume. Long story short: no lawyers needed, in this instance). But generally we get asked the same kind of questions time and again.
So what does this tell us? Something we already knew from experience: the world of perfume can be a rather overwhelming and bewildering place. Full of confusing language and conflicting advice that could dizzy the best of us in to an olfactory coma, it’s often a confusing and even off-putting arena in which to set foot (or nose).
Here at The Perfume Society we are proud to be celebrating our third birthday – founded by Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay, we exist exactly because of this befuddlement. Our ethos is to bring perfume alive through our informative website, award-winning magazine, exclusive events and Discovery Boxes to try at home, and we always aim to make fragrance accessible to perfume-lovers of all abilities!
However experienced your nose is, it’s good to get a refresher now and again – and our FAQs section is jam-packed with tips for how to choose a fragrance, what the ‘fragrance families’ mean, how ingredients are harvested (and the best perfumes to smell them in) and so much more. But before you get flitting around all things fragrant, let’s start with our all-time top three tips your nose should know…

1 – How can I choose a perfume that’s right for me?
Short answer:
It’s a minefield, right? Where to even begin? Well, our first tip is to give a perfume time. So many of us spray, sniff immediately (bascially it’s just the alcohol you’re smelling, with perhaps a mere whiff of top notes) and walk away. STOP this immediately. Sorry to nag, but it’s never going to get you the fragrance you really want.
Further advice:
Initially, try the fragrance on a blotter (also known as a perfume ‘spill’); these should be available on perfume counters – and when you buy a Discovery Box from this site, you’ll find a pack of blotters inside. Allow a few minutes for the alcohol and the top notes to subside, and then smell the blotters. At this stage you may be able to eliminate one or more, if they don’t appeal – but it is really the heart notes and the lingering base notes which you will live with, and which are crucial.
Remember:  blotters are a useful way of eliminating no-hopers and lining up possibilities, but they’re not really enough to base a perfume purchase on.  You really need to smell a scent on your skin.
Do make the most of FR.eD: The Perfume Society’s ‘virtual fragrance consultant’ who you’ll find on this site here (the name’s actually short for Fragrance Editor). You can tell FR.eD which perfumes you’re keen on, and ‘he’ will make a personalised selection, suggesting up to six fragrances at a time for you to try, at various price-points. Genius!

2 – How can I make fragrance last longer?
Short answer:
If you moisturise your skin, this gives the oils something to ‘cling’ to, and will boost its staying power.  So, if the ‘matching’ body products are available, it’s a beautiful way to layer on your fragrance. If these range extensions aren’t available, go for an unscented body cream, butter or lotion which won’t clash with your chosen scent. Think of it as a primer for perfume.
Further advice:
Try spraying your hair as well as your skin – though be careful if the perfume is dark in colour as you may unintentionally dye your hair… Hair is porous and will waft the scent even longer than on your skin in many cases.
Spritz a scarf with with scent and the heat of your body will make the fragrance bloom. Also a handy way to try a new fragrance you’re not sure of. Bored of it? Simply take the scarf off and try something else…
Remember that the nose becomes desensitised and quickly gets used to the notes of your perfume. Although you may not be able to smell it at all after 30-40 minutes, your friends and colleagues may still be able to, so ask a friend if they can still smell it before dousing yourself afresh (tempting as we find it!)

3 – My perfume seems different to how I remember it.  Is my nose playing tricks…?
Short answer:
Possibly – our memories of scent can sometimes differ wildly to the reality. However, it’s also entirely possible your old favourite’s formula has been changed. This is because, when an ingredient is classified as a potential allergen – by IFRA, the International Fragrance Association – two things may happen:  it can be banned altogether, or its use limited by percentage, to minimise the risk of a susceptible perfume-wearer reacting.
Further advice:
When an ingredient’s re-classified, perfumes may be ‘tweaked’ by the manufacturer.  In some cases, a process called ‘fractionation’ – which allows ingredient manufacturers to remove the allergenic molecule of an fragrance note, while leaving the rest intact – can allow the continued use of that ingredient.
Case in point:  oak moss – invaluable in the creation of the chypre family of perfumes – has become restricted.  Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s in-house ‘nose’, explained to us that he now uses a ‘fractionated’ oak moss.  ‘However, when you fractionate an ingredient, it leaves a “hole”:  there is something missing,’ added Thierry.  His solution to filling the sensory ‘hole’ in oak moss was to add a touch of – believe it or not – celery.  It’s impossible to discern, to the rest of us – but it gave the rounded quality to that so-essential note that Thierry needed to return the classic Guerlain creation Mitsouko to its former, long-lasting glory.
Occasionally, however, a perfume may change because the company which makes it is bought by another, and the formulation changed.
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 
 

The first gourmand: Brillat-Savarin – an 18th Century chemist who knew you are what you eat (and smell!)

Long before ‘gourmand’ foodie-inspired fragrances were even dreamed of and while smell was still perceived as the poor cousin of our other senses, one 18th Century polymath was championing the exquisite pleasures that taste and smell bring to everyday life. And more than mere pleasure alone: in fact, he heralded the proper appreciation and scientific study of these long-foregranted senses…
‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’ So said Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1755-1826, a French lawyer and politician whom, apart from law, studied chemistry and medicine, and eventually gained fame as an epicure and gastronome.
 

 
His seminal work Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste), contains Savarin’s philosophies and observations on the pleasures of the food, which he very much considered a science – long before the birth of molecular gastronomy and serious studies of taste and smell had begun. And smell was very much at the forefront of the gastronomique experience, Savarin had worked out; exclaiming:
‘Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose.’
Previously considered the least important of the senses – indeed, smell remains the least scientifically explored, though technology is making huge leaps in our understanding – Savarin proclaimed that,’The sense of smell, like a faithful counsellor, foretells its character.’
 

 
Published only two months before his death, the book has never been out of print and still proves inspirational to chefs and food-lovers to this day.
 

 
Preceding the remarkable leaps in knowledge high-tech equipment has allowed and revealing how entwined our sense of smell is to the taste and enjoyment of food, Savarin also observed how our noses protect us from eating potentially harmful substances, explaining ‘…for unknown foods, the nose acts always as a sentinal and cries: “Who goes there?”‘ while coming to the conclusion that a person’s character may be foretold in their taste and smell preferences… ‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’
We devoted an entire issue of our award-winning magazine The Scented Letter (now available in print, and with online subscriptions worldwide!) to taste and smell – as of course we are gourmand fans in ALL the senses. And so it is heartening to know that Brillat was on our side here, with this extremely useful advice we selflessly pledge to carry through life:
‘Those who have been too long at their labor, who have drunk too long at the cup of voluptuousness, who feel they have become temporarily inhumane, who are tormented by their families, who find life sad and love ephemeral… they should all eat chocolate and they will be comforted.’
Wise words, indeed. We plan to enjoy all the sweet temptations that come our way, in scent form and in chocolate. Talk about having your cake and wearing it, too!
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Eating garlic makes men smell more attractive to women [apparently…]

Although it may sound completely counterintuitive, results of a 2015 study by University of Stirling and Prague’s Charles University revealed that women who sniffed the heady scent of male body odour perceived it to be ‘significantly more attractive and less intense,’ when the men had eaten garlic.
82 women were asked to smell odour samples from 42 men, collected on pads worn in their armpits, and judge them for ‘pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity.’
[Permit us to wonder, with eyebrows firmly raised, if the same study has been repeated with the gals eating garlic.]
Researchers concluded the results possibly showed that as ‘…the health benefits of garlic consumption include antioxidant, immunostimulant, cardiovascular, bactericidal and anti-cancer effects, it is plausible that human odour preferences have been shaped by sexual selection.’

So that’s vampires bang out of luck, then.
Previous research has shown that many animals’ noses are honed to select mates in the best physical condition, and therefore human noses might well be similarly evolutionary primed to seek out partners with the most promising whiffs. Something to think about the next time your special someone reaches for that extra slice of garlic bread.
Those of you wishing to learn more about the fascinating science of taste and smell can get the juices flowing by reading our latest issue of The Scented Letter Magazine. Full to bursting with the latest news, exclusive interviews and award-winning fragrance journalism – we think you’ll find this is our most delicious issue yet…
Written by Suzy Nightingale

How can you improve your sense of smell? Watch this cute cartoon and book our 'How To' workshop!

Are perfumers possessed of magical noses gifted to them at birth – with a heightened sense of smell beyond the reach of mere mortals…?
Well, there’s an argument to made that perhaps some of the ‘noses’ behind our favourite fragrances are somewhat naturally gifted, but my goodness they had to work to get where they are. Perhaps also some of them grew up in perfume-y places – like Grasse – where the culture, history and even the streets themselves are awash with scent. But the truth of the matter is, they had to start somewhere. And those of us lucky enough to have a working sense of smell can undoubtedly go about improving that sense – and thereby enhancing every aspect of our lives.
We couldn’t resist sharing the wonderfully incisive (and undeniably cute) cartoon, below, that does a great job of explaining how important our sense of smell is in everyday life, and the basics of how one might begin mastering the sense of smell.

Apart from simple practice, practice, practice – the most important aspect, we have gleaned by interviewing those famous perfumers over the years; is learning to “fix” a smell in your head by creatively describing it in terms that are absolutely and entirely personal to you. And how on earth do you go about doing that? By attending one of our regular How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops
These fun, informal (but totally informative) sessions are held in groups, some people liking to bring friends along others preferring to sniff solo, and during which you will be taught how to start building your very own volcabulary of scent – pinning those intensely personal memories and emotions that are automatically triggered the second you smell something (good or bad!) and using that to invesitage – and vastly improve – your sense of smell. We’re not pretending you’ll come out as a fully fledged perfumer – and neither is this the reason we set up the workshops. But we can gurantee you’ll not only experience your favourite fragrances in a whole new way – you will appreciate your nose like never before.

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[Photos by Essence PR]
So, do you fancy a morning or afternoon of sharing fragrances, laughter and learning to improve your sense of smell – with a fragrant goody bag at the end of it and as many biscuits and tea (or coffee) you can drink in-between? Of course you do!
Come and join us for the next How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshop in London on Saturday 4th February. Not a Londoner? Look here to find (or request) your nearest workshop.
How do you join in the fragrance fun? It’s simple:
How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops cost £10 for VIP Subscribers – which is 100% redeemable against any box purchase on the day of the workshop
Want to bring a guest? (it’s even more fun with a friend!) £20 for Guests of subscribers or non-VIP Subscribers
Maximise the opportunity by choosing to become a VIP with your booking for £35 to include a one-year VIP subscription to The Perfume Society, £10 of which is redeemable against box purchases on the day of the workshop.
Want to read a review from a happy attendee of a previous workshop? Cosmetic Candy blog waxes lyrical about attending one of our Manchester workshops, and Samantha Grocutt, MD of Essence PR describes her experience, here.
Workshops are generally hosted by Senior Writer of The Perfume Society, Suzy Nightingale within the London area, and co-founder Jo Fairley further afield.
Simply bring along a favourite fragrance – and your nose – and we so look forward to meeting you there.
Book your tickets here.
Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Mighty Nose Awards are open: calling all smell lovers aged 7-11!

Marty the Mighty Nose is a cartoon character created by The Fragrance Foundation to encourage children aged 7-11 to be inspired and engaged through their sense of smell. Offering a website aimed at teachers, full of ideas to extend their pupil’s learning by focusing on the smelly world around them, and a series of free workshops for schools; perhaps the most exciting activity for kids to get involved with is the annual Mighty Nose Awards
Every year, The Fragrance Foundation invite pupils to submit smell-inspired creative writing for the chance to win fantastic prizes for themselves and for their schools. And entries for 2017 are now open!
The competition closes on December 16th 2016, so click here to download your entry pack and learn more.
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As the Fragrance Foundation explain: ‘Marty the Mighty Nose is supported by a team of people including teachers, and developed by the Fragrance Foundation UK. We are a not-for-profit educational organisation and all our members are in the fragrance industry, supporting Marty as a philanthropic initiative.’
Winners will be whisked to the glittering awards ceremony held at BAFTA next year, as part of the Jasmine Awards, before an audience of writers, fragrance professionals and press, who always receive them with rapturous applause. Truly inspiring, it’s wonderful to see kids explore and develop their sense of smell – and along with it their creativity (and humour!)
We adored hearing last year’s winning poems being read, and to get a sense of how brilliant they were, here’s one of our favourites from 2016…
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The Smells Inside My Brother’s Room

By Isaac Littlewood
St Mary’s CE Primary School, Year 3

The smells inside my brother’s room,
Just like his pants are deadly.
They lead me to my utter doom:
A very whiffy medley!

His slippers smell of nasty cheese
And the tang of onions (pickled).
Inside, his toes my nose displease
Especially when they’re tickled!

His bum smells like a rotten drum,
Full of ugly fleas.
It’s worse than getting badly stung
By a swarm of bees.

His armpits smell like cabbage leaves
Rotting at the dump.
Their pong you simply won’t believe
It’s like an evil trump.

Underneath his bed there lurks
A very hissy dragon
Who eats my brother’s hairy shirts
And smells enough to gag on!

So don’t go in that smellsome site
If you value your nose.
Your nostrils will be harmed for life.
His pongs are your greatest foes!

You can read all the winning entries and download the competition pack on Marty the Mighty Nose’s website.
marty_clothes1We know so many of our readers enjoy sniffing our Discovery Boxes with their children, and at several of our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops, people have come along with their kids, who have wholeheartedly thrown themselves into finding creative ways of describing smells. So, if your children are budding ‘noses’ or simply brimming with whiffy words, we urge you to enter them into the competition!
Written by Suzy Nightingale

The Library of Fragrance launch two scented siblings to the worldwide success of Baby Powder Cologne…

Whenever people are asked what their favourite smells are, along with ‘bread baking ‘, ‘freshly cut grass’ and (oddly) ‘petrol’/gasoline’ we most often find that the smell of their loved one is key. Top of that list is, for many, the smell of their children – and of course here poetic license must come in to play… When those people close their eyes and fondly imgine the scent of their beloved offspring, they are possibly skipping over the inevitable secretions, spillages and lumps of baby food slowly drying on wallpaper and instead focusing on the clean, warm, softly powdered babe in arms.
Renowned for their brilliant lifelike bottling of weird and wonderful smells inspired by life – from Dirt and Thunderstorm to Gin & Tonic – happily, The Library of Fragrance have captured the essence of these smells in a triplet of scents. New Baby, Baby Powder and Baby Shampoo are the spriz-able evocations of blissful, comforting memories. Their Baby Powder cologne was already on the market and proved such a phenomenal success they’ve launched it in a jumbo size of 120ml (compared to their usual 30ml bottles) and with two new scented siblings to join the 109 already in the family.
And for this new launch, The Library of Fragrance have really put in the hours (well, years) of research, as the New Baby cologne was hotly anticipated. As they explain: ‘It’s quite a relief for us to finally launch this fragrance – one that a customer asks for each and every week – after no less than 15 years of development…’
As we learned at the IFRA Fragrance Forum recently, it really does seem as though smells from our childhood have a particularly strong influence over our scent preferences in later life, and this was something The Library of Fragrance took very seriously while reserching and developing these fragrances, consulting with Dr. Rachel Herz, the internationally acclaimed leading expert in scent psychology and author of best- seller, The Scent of Desire.
Explains Rachel, ‘Our olfactory system is the very first sense to develop and we actually have a fully functioning sense of smell by the time we are twelve weeks in the womb. This means that even before we are born we are learning about the important scents in our environment, such as what our mother eats, and by the time we are born we are fully able to learn how to make sense of the world through our nose and to remember important associations. For example, studies have now shown that babies can distinguish the scent of their own mothers, from other mothers, only hours after birth.

Odour is indelibly embedded into the infant’s world in a way that other senses are not. Our visual system, in stark contrast, takes several years after we are born to mature to a point that visual experiences can be fully processed, stored and recalled. The sight of a bottle of Baby Powder won’t mean anything to an infant, but the smell of Baby Powder – if it was used on us as babies – will immediately elicit feelings that are associated with being cared for, soothed and cradled.’
Among the myriad highly complex and sophisticated perfumes available on the market, it’s interesting to note that when we seek comfort in these often distressing times – it’s those simple pleasures we reach for time and again to cosset and soothe with happy scent memories…

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‘Inspired by the iconic talc from Johnson & Johnson, this scent really triggers strong emotional links. Advancing scientific research is showing us that scent is processed deep within a part of our brains that also manages emotion and memories. It’s not likely that many of us have tangible memories of being a baby, but it’s very likely that the scent of our Baby Powder fragrance subliminally takes us right back to feeling soothed, cradled and cared for. And who doesn’t want to feel like that at least some of the time?’
The Library of Fragrance Baby Powder £30 for 120ml Cologne
new-baby-30_grande‘Powdery, creamy and enveloping, its soothing, hushed tones balance the nostalgic aromas of baby talc and shampoo with a blend of musks that somehow capture the scents of warm skin and clean, soft laundry, taking us right back to those very earliest of days.’

The Library of Fragrance New Baby £15 for 30ml Cologne
baby_shampoo_lof_30ml_hero_grande‘Inspired by the nostalgic scent of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, this is one of the freshest, cleanest, happiest smells on earth. It somehow makes us feel as we imagine we did then, splashing around and giggling from under bubbly beards.’
The Library of Fragrance Baby Shampoo £15 for 30ml
Buy them at thelibraryoffragrance.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale

From the scents of ancient Egypt to the olfactory exploration of wine, IFRA Fragrance Forum 2016 got our noses tingling…

Every year, IFRA [the International Fragrance Association] hold a Fragrance Forum, bringing together scientists, perfumers, press and all industry professionals who share an interest in the subject of scent. This year’s forum took the theme of ‘Do You Smell Well?’ with a full day of talks covering the ancient Egyptian’s use of incense and perfume in magical rites through to how babies learn to smell and even a wine-sniffing session.
Discussing therapeutic aspects of fragrance and perfume materials, a number of eminent speakers addressed these topics with gusto and as always, it was fascinating to mix with such a variety of professionals who make the study of how – and why – we smell, their life’s work.
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In the distinguished setting of The Royal Society, we began the day with an historical look at spices, balsams and the incense of temples: the fragrances of ancient Egypt – the Egyptologist and raconteur John J. Johnston from University College London perhaps being familiar to some of you who have seen him speak at Egyptian-themed events with Odette Toilette. Among any number of fascinating tales, we learned how incense was made to specific recipes, with each ingredient serving a magical purpose as an offering to the gods. Stunning perfume recipticals survive, mostly of mystical beasts sticking out their tongues – ‘To wear perfume is as though to be licked by these magical animals.’
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Dr Benoist Schaal from the Centre des Sciences du Goût, Djijon, addressed the audience with a talk entitled ‘Born to smell and smook‘ – “smook” being the way newborn babies smell and look while suckling at their mother’s breast, it turns out. A fascinating series of scientific studies were recounted, in which Benoist and his team have researched the way we are born to react to smell – that some odours do not need to be lerned and mammalian females have evolved the specific ability to highlight their breasts to their offspring by secreting a smell map around the nipples, to guide the babies directly there.
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The next talk took a deeper philosophical topic of ‘the role of smell in consciousness‘ – Professor Barry C. Smith, Director of the Institute of Philosophy – Centre for the Study of Senses, argued that we don’t merely have the five (or six) senses usually attributed to humans – we could in fact have over twenty senses, each of them highly connected and overlapping with the rest. Smith went on to remind us that, historically, we have neglected our sense of smell as being the least important sense, but in fact it adds to and shapes almost every aspect of our lives! We were thrilled to hear this talk, most especially as it confirms everything we teach in our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops, and have had such great feedback from those who have taken part.
olibanum_resinDr Mark D. Evans of De Montfort University, Leicester was making sense of frankincense – beginning with a truly “lightbulb” moment where he explained how this historically important perfume ingredient got its name: French incense – franc encens. Of course it makes perfect sense when it’s pointed out, but had never occured to us, previously! Herodotus wrote of frankincense in th 5th century BC, Pliny wrote how the Phoenix feasted on it, and in Roman Britian alone, up to 50 burial sites of wealthy citizens have been found to contain traces of frankincense, thought to be used in funeral rites. Indeed, frankincense has always primarily had a religious use, but we were astounded to learn the postive research results currently being investigated on its incredible anti-inflammatory properties, and possible future use in many medical treatments, including some cancers.
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An insightful look at the state of the nation: shoppers and fragranced products followed, with Vitaliy Zhyhun from market research specialists Nielsen UK leading us through a series of charts, facts and figures that revealed the UK shopper is perhaps the most “disloyal” of all, shopping online and looking around for the best deals. Most interesting to us was their research that showed a huge swing toward smaller, independent or local shops – smaller brands also driving growth and far outperforming their larger competitors, and with online sales set to grow even more in the next couple of years.
Carl Philpott, photographed at the Medical School, university of East Anglia. Ear, nose and throat surgeon and director of the Smell and Taste Clinic at James Paget University Hospital in Norfolk, UK. Photography by Jason Bye t: 07966 173 930 e: mail@jasonbye.com w: http://www.jasonbye.com
Mr Carl Philpott, Honorary Consultant ENT surgeon & Rhinologist and Director of The Smell & Taste Clinic at James Paget Hospital led a moving talk on living without smell, looking at the research they’ve done on those people who have lost their ability to smell, and the many psychological implications this has on their lives. Reinforcing how vital our sense of smell is and how little resepct we pay it until it’s lost; Philpott showed the shocking numbers of those patients who developed severe depression and feelings of alienation – and some of the ways they are trying to resolve or help them. In fact, he’s now working with Duncan Boak of Fifth Sense – a charity we have supported and highlighted, for those affected by taste and smell disorders.
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Finally, the always-welcome sound of corks popping heralded the return of Professor Barry C. Smith to the stage, guiding us through an olfactory exploration of wine – with our noses. Discussing the varying ways in which we perceive tastes (and mix them up with our other senses all the time – saying things smell “sweet” or “cold”, for example) and also relate smells and tastes to varying speeds… ‘Everyone in the world thinks lemons are “fast” and bananas are “slow”!’ chuckled the professor, as he also got the entire audience to identify the temperature of water, just by listening to a recording of it being poured. And the subtle but distinct difference between club soda, Champagne and prosecco being poured.
Who knew we had such hidden powers?
As ever, the IFRA Fragrance Forum left us with brains bursting from all the captivating information we’d taken in throughout the day, and noses a-twitch with a plethora of ideas of what to write about for future issues of The Scented Letter magazine…
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Nivea to launch NOSE app that ‘sniffs’ male body odour: wake up and smell the digital revolution?

When the heat rises and armpits emerge from beneath layers of jumpers, coats and jackets, commuters hold their breath in anticpation of the inevitable olfactory onslaught. With the premise that our noses eventually become attuned to the scent of our own sweat, Nivea have developed a digitised nose for your phone – an app they say scans areas of men’s bodies particularly prone to funkiness (and we don’t mean dancing to James Brown).

Having analysed the area – based on a specially produced algorithm that previously evaluated the scent of 4,000 other males – the app warns concerned men of their potential whiff-factor, rating their particular smell from ‘it’s okay’, through ‘it’s time’ and the climactic klaxon of ‘it’s urgent’. Nivea’s NOSE has been created by Geoffrey Hantson – a Belgium-based chief creative officer behind the so-called “smellphone” technology. Having been beta-tested in Belgium, worldwide whiffing is soon to commence, with the app then to be launched simultaneously on AppStore and Google Play, and a consumer version hoped to be released shortly afterwards. Watch Nivea’s video below for an insight into how it all works…

Meanwhile, the rather appropriately named Nosang Myung – a UC Riverside professor who’s invented an electronic nose to be used for sniffing out potential dangers to human life – said although the technology is in its ‘most simplistic form’ it could possibly work through only having to detect levels of sweat. On his rather more intricate technology, which he hopes could detect hazards such as dangerous levels of gas in the air we breathe (or even bombs) Professor Myung commented, ‘we developed a nose. A smartphone has an eye, so we just have to put on the legs. So now, I call it an electronic sniffing dog. Places you don’t want to go, instead of sending a dog, you can send this robot.’

Could this digital form of smelling lead to perfumers being replaced by robots? Well, the Noses we know can rest easy for now, as the human olfactory system is so highly complex and nuanced that scientists are still beavering away to understand it fully, let alone reproduce it. Hanston remains optimistic about the future for digital technology in harmony with scent, however, telling Huffington Post that although Nivea to will have to sell the sensors separately – currently the sensory technology is embedded in hard covers for phones – he’s pretty sure the technology will eventually be integrated into the integral structure of an actual phone ‘within a couple of years’.

While parents may be rejoicing at the perfect present for their teenage sons, some might suggest that if one is dithering about whether or not to apply deodorant, perhaps top it up anyway, just to be on the safe side…?

Written by Suzy Nightingale