The time machine in a perfume atomiser

Light shining through a thin slice of pink grapefruit

Perfume is a blend of highly volatile materials attuned to please our senses. It shapes behavioural patterns, alters moods and feelings, triggers emotions and brings back memories. Perfume also greatly influences relationships with others and the world around us.

From afterlife to everyday life

In ancient Egypt, perfume was used in religious rituals as a…


Why does autumn smell so beautiful?

I like every season, but autumn is by far my favourite. I especially love the refreshing chill in the air after warm and unpleasantly humid British summer. Misty mornings with a bit of drizzle and fog add a touch of mystery, and grey clouds often so low in the sky…


How the past shapes the future of perfume bottle design, function and environmental impact.

The perfume bottle is rather unusual as a product packaging. It has accumulated many subtle associations and symbolism throughout history which masterfully influence customers’ innermost beliefs, values, and thoughts. Not many products can genuinely compete with that. Of course, its primary function is, and always has been, the protection of…


Untangling the mystery of lost information and reading in between the lines.

Old books

After reading numerous old manuscripts and books on the history of medicine and perfumery, one little detail failed to escape my attention. Did the ancient authors, physicians, pharmacists, and perfumers (often one and the same person) successfully mislead readers and get away with it?

Have we stopped questioning information and…


Articles about talcum powder have recently flooded the front pages of many newspapers and magazines. Over the past few years, there have been numerous volatile debates among experts and consumers on whether talcum can be linked to the development of certain types of cancer. Its use in personal care products…


There is no other drink with as many flavours, colour tones, and olfactory notes as wine.

Wine glass

People consume wine for many different reasons. …


The future has been one of the most captivating mysteries to humankind since ancient times. Desire to predict what is to come, manipulate time, and the laws of physics and nature turned our ancestors to various magical rituals, spells and prophecies. …


Have you ever caught yourself struggling to describe an odour simply because you could not find the right word? If so, you are not alone.

A young woman smelling flowers

Describing odours can be quite challenging. There are only three odour-dedicated words in English, and these are stinky, fragrant and musty. However, the first two…


What was it like to visit a market stall or a shop in antiquity and purchase a perfume? How good was the customer service? What were the customer’s expectations and general beliefs around scent?

Gender defined perfumes

Gender stereotypes in perfume marketing and production are recurrent trends and have been around for over…


Most perfumery textbooks define perfume as a substance that emits beautiful fragrance. It is usually composed of essential oils (volatile liquids distilled from plants), absolutes, aroma chemicals, additives (such as colourants, preservatives and stabilisers), and floral waters mixed into a solvent (usually denatured alcohol, oil, or dipropylene glycol).

Odoriferous plants…

Marie Krnakova

Perfumer, writer, perfume history enthusiast

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