Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lavender Water by the Bucket

Det. Supt. Foyle: You left the room?

Mr. Ellis : It was too dark.

Foyle: Well, I know somebody did because um Fleming ah said he heard the door open before the shots were fired.

Guy Spencer: That was Rosemary Harwood.
Foyle: How'd you know that?

Guy: I was just outside.

Foyle: Erah, how did you know it was her if you couldn't see her, because it was, it was too dark to see anything?

Guy: I smelled her. She um, she wears lavender water, errr,

I'd say she wears it by the bucket. It was definitely her.

- from Foyle's War, The White Feather
photos: Molinard  Lavande Extrait Double Lura Astor

Friday, August 26, 2011

Liquorice Licorice Anise Fennel

Reglisse Noire

created by perfumer
Jessica September Buchanan
of 1000 Flowers
click to right in 
Feed Your Inspirations

is a refined beauty
a scent that will wear well in any season

click here for interviews with the perfumer and reviews liquorice dreams by the perfumer click here

If you remember Callard and Bowser's licorice toffee ... Reglisse Noire offers a wink.

Licorices from around the world at Licorice International click here

Smelling Reglisse Noire I don't get the playful cutting of licorice candy found in Pink Sugar/Aquolina, the bit of austerity found in Anisia Bella/Aqua Allegoria, or the Good 'n' Plenty opening of Anis/Etro.
I do get persistent refinement that pleases from beginning to end.

Shiso leaf adds to the refinement and though star anise is used, I fondly recall Swedish limpa bread with its anise, caraway and sometimes cardamom, Italian snowflake pizelles, freshly chopped fennel, anise tea.

More recently, Shiso/perilla leaf, of the mint/basil family, made the leap from sushi plates to summer cocktails.

Liquorice potables: ouzo, raki, pernod, absinthe, anisette, are renown for whatever remnants of stories trail those who partake.

Growing up, we had 2 parakeets, JoJo, with palest blue of sky feathers, and Miss Blue, lapis lazuli blue with black/white mask. While lying on a bed reading, the birds would fly over, perch on our chest, and scrape our teeth, their feathers smelling of softest anise. Whatever social primping or mineral from our teeth the birds gained, we too benefited from kind whiffs of calming anise.
And, in history, birds have been perfumed to fly through feast halls wafting scent with wings.

Star Anise is related to the magnolia family, but a far cry from the buttery lemon scent of  magnolia flowers.

Related by odor, not by genus, anise is used to attract fish, mixed with wine helps cure asp bites.

Sulfur is used to detect gas leaks and capsules of anise oil were added into white metal plane bearings of early steam engine trains in Britain, releasing scent during overheating.

Koku radio has a broadcast on the smell of licorice increasing vaginal blood flow and information on how various odors affect gender blood flow.

Congrats Jessica September Buchanan on your beauty of a scent!

illustration: Star Anise
photo: Shiso Pepsi
photo: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway No. 957 Helena 
photo: Sweetbay Magnolia Derek Ramsey/Ram-Man 2008 and the Chanticleer Garden

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Lurana Facebook Page - yay

a dedicated facebook page

Thanks for your support and feedback over the years
and most importantly ...
interesting research and creations that you share with me.
sniff sniff   Feed Your Inspirations

image: California Poppy Reveries ©Lura Astor

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

poetry sillage


don't feel like writing a poem,
instead, I will light the incense-burning vessel
filled with myrrh, jasmine, and frankincense,
and the poem will grow in my heart
like the flowers in my garden.

- student of Hāfez
خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی
15h century AD

Perfumery and Ritual: The Use of Incense, Flowers, Distillates, and Aromatic Objects in Asia. Workshop took place at Universitat Heidelberg click here

incense peppermint click here 

Nathaniel Musselman incense crafter click here

smells so good click here

photos: Fallen Leaves and Trail Lura Astor

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Art Humor

I friggin' love Art History meets Theatah

Highly recommend
Guerilla Girls Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art
click here
some of their famous posters click here

Lee Krasner, painter, wife and helper of painter Jackson Pollock, received a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, 6 months after her death in 1984. As of 2008, Krasner is 1 of 4 women artists to have had a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art. But, the museum has only been open since 1928.

One more from 70 Million, both directed by David Freymond

National Museum of Women in Art in Washington DC click here



Guerilla Girls 1985

Monday, August 22, 2011

Scented Fans

Scented fans have a long history
The Fan Museum in Greenwich, London
current exhibit click here
Air à la Mode

features fans of Sylvain Le Guen
with one, scented by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian click here
through 13 November 2011

Books for sale include one from the exhibit on the sound of fans as live music plays. Hadn't thought of that extra sound of air ruffling en masse.

photo: Fanning the Senses The Fan Museum 2007 
photo: Don Quixote Bolshoi Ballet Marc Haegeman 2006

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nasal Synesthesia

I think it is an optimistic message
that we harbor so much
multi-sensory perception

The fetus makes 2 million synapses a second
Synesthesia rhymes with anesthesia
Anesthesia = no sensation
Synesthesia = joined sensation

We don't understand how
metaphor works in the brain
.... So that synesthetic associations our ancestors made long ago
have grown into the more abstract kinds of language that we understand today
and that's why metaphors make sense.

.... metaphor is the reverse of what most people commonly assume. It doesn’t depend on a capacity for abstract verbal abstraction, but rather on a physical interaction with a concrete, sensual world.

- a few soundbites fromRichard E. Cytowic, M.D. click here 
breaking down the vocabulary of synesthesia
Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.

part 1

part 2

part 3

Cytowic has authored Wednesday is Indigo Blue 
The Man Who Tasted Shapes 
Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses, and more.

Earlier Related Posts Here:
Olfactory Synesthetes: Do You Smell in Color? click here 18 June 2009
Sniff 'n' Poof click here  2 Oct 2009

Illustration: Plum Lura Astor

Monday, August 8, 2011

Smelling a Bit of a Dog

Cressida Draper (Suzan Crowley) Do you like dogs? I think it's important for men to like animals.
I can always trust a man who smells a bit of a dog, don't you think?

Jim Bergerac (John Nettles) What else should men smell of then, eh?

Cressidea Gunpowder, sandalwood, tannin, what do you like?

Bergerac Uhp, roses?

Cressida Ah, come on.

Bergerac Cricket bat oil.
Cressida Cricket bat oil?

Bergerac Well you asked, didn't you? What do you like most?

Cressida I don't know.  When I was a kid I loved the smell of the tannery, leather ...

from the series Bergerac: All For Love 1991 
photo: BBC /UK-TV

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


When opossums are threatened or harmed, they mimic the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal.

The physiological response is involuntary, like sneezing.

Playing dead reflex develops; the brain does not always react this way at the appropriate moment for baby opossums.

When playing possum, the animal's lips draw back baring teeth, saliva foams around the mouth, eyes close or half-close, and, the scented fluid secretes from the anal glands, thus the smell of death.

In the stiff, curled form the animal can be touched or carried without noticeable reaction. Slight ear twitchings are visible as the animal regains consciousness within 40 minutes to 4 hours.

Interesting articles click here
Smells of Death Centuries Later - Smells Sweet
Illustration: Merian Opossum 1875 Popular Science