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Parfums Raffy

A smoky mix of leather, old books, and exotic spices

It took Schütze a year of experimentation to develop a formula that captured his intentions—both practically, since the perfume had to disperse from room-temperature paper rather than a warm body, and also conceptually. The result, a smoky mix of leather, old books, and exotic spices, has proved unexpectedly covetable.

 — Nicola Twilley writes about the entries for Art & Olfaction's Sadakichi Award for Experimental Use of Scent. Read more at What Did Qaddafi’s Death Smell Like? at The New Yorker.

Parched clay doused with pond water

It smelled like the parched clay doused with pond water in the Siyarams’ backyard. The aroma was entirely different from the memory of rain I carried from my childhood and my part of the world—ozone-charged air, wet moss, Wolfe’s “clean but funky” scent of the south. But it was entirely appealing: warm, organic, mineral-rich. It was the smell of waiting, paid off: 40 years or more for a sandalwood tree to grow its fragrant heartwood; four months of hot, dust-blown summer in northern India before the monsoons arrive in July; a day for terra-cotta to slow-fire in a kiln.

— From Making Perfume From the Rain: Indian villagers have found a way to bottle the fragrance of monsoons at The Atlantic.