Making Sense of Scents

Archive for the ‘Perfumes’ Category

Moth Balls

One way of catching the pest Cydia molesta, the peach tree moth, is to use its pheromone chemical Acenol to attract the male to traps. Dienol traps the codling moth, whilst plum fruit moths can be attracted by Fenemol.

These moths have vast arrays of antennae, very similar to the banks of listening radars we have for alien messages.

The pheromone Bombykol which works for the bombyx mori moth, can be smelled by this insect at a distance of two miles.

A radar system like no other!

Scaling that up for humans, that is like your being able to smell your beloved in Boston whilst you are in New York!

Bastille Day tomorrow!

Bastille Day fragrances presentations

What do:

(1) Shakespeare, Joan of Arc, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jean Baptiste Grenouille ,The Bastille, Jean- Louis  Fargeon , Marie Antoinette, Lubin, Antoine Lavoisier, Madame Tussaud, Executioner Jean Baptiste Sanson, Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine, ……

.(2) …Charles Baudelaire, Eugene Rimmel, Septimus Piesse, General Jaqueminot, RMS Titanic, Jean Lafitte, Marie Celeste, Bonny Blue, Queen Elizabeth II and the 20th century Top Twenty best fine fragrances ever all have in common?

ANSWER

They are all  intriguingly linked , and they all feature in Aromancer David Pybus’ highly visual and entertaining presentation on French perfume as a scented Gallic tribute to Bastille day.

Two different  stimulating and sensual talks  (as above)

July 14, 2012           2.00 – 3.00 pm and 3.15- 4.15 pm

Roxy  Bar and Screen 128-132 Borough High Street SE1

(near Sainsburys) FREE ENTRY

Use it or lose it!

The sense of smell is of the highest importance to the greater number of mammals ‑ to … the ruminants, in warning them of danger; to the carnivora, in finding that prey … but the sense of smell is of extremely slight service, if any, to men …he inherits the power in an enfeebled and so far rudimentary condition, from some early progenitor, to whom it was highly serviceable, and by whom it was continually used.

     Descent of Man

          Charles Darwin (1809 ‑ 1882)

Use it or lose it!

Holy Smoke!

The ancients believed that the only thing which could cross the physical barrier between Heaven and Earth was the smoke of incense. Indeed perfume takes its name from the Latin “per fumare” which means “through” or “by” smoke. If you prayed to your God, whatever his or her name, and you wanted your prayers to be answered favourably, it made sense to “sweeten” your request with the magical smokes of burning aromatics.
Here’s my take on that: (Oh! and by the way Onycha is crushed operculum (door) from a certain Mediterranean snail which helped “fix” the mix.  Still used in the Middle East.)

Exodus

The censer burns with charcoal bright,

As on its aromatic flight,

Incense to the heavens winds,

And with sweet words a promise binds.

Dark, smoky tongue that breezes waft,

A fragrant wisp that mounts the draft,

This messenger with breath divine,

That calls the Gods and makes them mine.

I cannot fail in love or war

As Myrrh on heated coals I pour,

And Frankincense to charge the mix,

With Galbanum the scent to fix.

Onycha crushed will make complete

My Mercury on wingéd feet,

Who stirs the Gods above the cloud

And passes on my prayer endowed.

Hear Ye! A mortal stands below,

My plea is made; it’s time to show

Pray manifest and succour me

Repay my sacrifice to thee.

Fire, fire burning bright

I really do miss the aromas that come from a good wood fire- and indeed the differences depending on the type of wood used and the state its in. Here’s my poetic take on this:

WOODSMOKE

In these days of pristine central heating

You can keep yourself as warm as toast

But there’s nothing to beat

A woodfire’s heat

And of fine smells they really can boast.

Juniper is the firewood of my choice

Mixed with apple and cherry tree too

A clean tang springs from birch

And for holly I’ll search

But old oak makes a shrine of the flue.

Sinbad’s other tale II

My lack of IT knowledge has to date meant that I can’t copy from my book and make images larger which in turn makes some of them hard to read. Equally I guess it’s a kind of safety net for copyright issues. But to respond to one question here’s the Sinbad tale again in readable form

Sinbad’s other tale

 

The Sperm it feeds on cuttlefish,

By all accounts a tasty dish

But not the bones that stomach cut

And form great scars upon the gut.

Which when the whale has had enough

And promptly sickens of the stuff

Ejects this morass on the sea,

Where “mermaid’s gold” awaits for me.

As Allah’s gift is worked upon,

By wind and waves, by rain and sun,

To give aromas of delight

Which sets the nose of man alight

And this I sell for princely sum

In Basra’s market, where all come.

Alas, I cannot tell this tale,

Of Ambergris which comes from whale.

I need protect my trade you see,

And thus a story tell to thee.

 Of abyss-edge, where fiery pits

Throw out the ambergris in bits,

So only bold will venture forth

And sail to East, West, South and North.

For with such dangers on the sea

Much safer ’tis to buy from me,

And rest assured they all come back

For nature’s aphrodisiac.

I praise my God for this bounty,

So wondrous made upon the sea.

Smells ‘R not us!

A rabbit has 100 million smell receptors

A dog has 220 million

We miserable humans have around 10 million receptorsl

Sharks may be able to track their prey by smell from up to a mile away, following a trail of microscopic particles of protein and blood. Some species can smell one molecule of blood in over one million molecules of water – equal to one drop of blood in a very large size Jacuzzi.

When it comes to smell, we really have taken leave of our senses.