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On the Nose

On the Nose

By Dana El Masri
Conversations and musings with perfumers, artists & everyday people about our sense of smell and all things olfaction.
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Reorient & Evolve
For the last episode of this very delayed On the Nose season, I finally get to share one of my many conversations with the always engaging Yosh Han.  This conversation was recorded back in July 2021 before Scent Festival in September 2021 and still has absolute relevancy now, to the point that we brought up some of the very same issues and perspectives at this year's Scent Festival 2022 Re-Orientation panel. We cover it all, from being born in between cultures and what that entails, to using our differences to engage in new conversations and realizing that there is where power lies. We of course discuss the important topic of evolving the 'O' category in perfume/fragrance classification as well as the need for new perspectives directly from members of the global majority.  Yosh really believes that fear is the gateway to evolution, and by working through fear, we can really achieve change, which is where true alchemy lies. Yosh's metaphors in this episode and in general, go unparalleled!  We call for progress within our industry, we cannot shy away from the fact that perfume is political, social, cultural and absolutely community-based.  Appropriating in the name of fantasy and storytelling will only create more confusion, if we continue with stereotyping and more vagueness (geographic, cultural, all of it) we perpetuate misleading narratives that don't serve us our industry.  By acknowledging & respecting people and their cultures -  we consider how and where perfumes are made, who benefits and who doesn't. This helps us learn, re-orient and evolve. Important points: If you know better, do better. Evolve and Involve. The future is inclusive. Interpretation vs Appropriation  Embrace regional perfumery, in order to create nuance.  Wherever you are, you are in the right place.  Definitions/Distinctions:  Mukhallat - Arabic for "mixed or blended" - Regional blend of saffron + rose + oud (used most often in the GCC countries) Khaleeji - Loosely means 'from the gulf' in Arabic - refers to the area and people of several countries on the Arabian Peninsula and of the GCC.  Congee (porridge) vs. Kanji (language) Other things we mentioned:  Suheir Hammad - Not Your Exotic  Petition to update & re-classify Oriental category in perfumery. Diverse Talent in Perfumery database. Sound Used:  Pisces Binaural Beats 
April 03, 2022
Scent & Sound
Welcome to a very special cross-over episode of On the Nose! (Perfume on the Radio - On the Nose) Saskia Wilson-Brown (of the esteemed Institute for Art & Olfaction) and I were lucky enough to interview five talented individuals, all of whom have had experience with scent & sound in one way or another.  We start with Saskia interviewing me, so you get to know how I connect the two mediums while touching on the vibrational theory of both. Then we had a fascinating conversation with Peter de Cupere, whose work intersects with technology, explains what the Odophone is and “shows” us some of his futuristic gadgets and more!  YoYo Fearless gave us really great insight into how status and scent are related in hip hop, putting us in the mind of a performer as well as if flow and scent have anything in common. Heather D’Angelo shared her thoughts on how scent & sound are connected, with lots of experience as a member of the band Au Revoir Simone.  While Chavalia Mwamba, also a perfumer and musician, talks about using music to process grief, breaks down the notes and some of the perfume lingo we use, all of which happen to connect with music.  Finally, we end with Kaya Sorhaindo, whose work with many artists from all sorts of mediums paved the way for many multi-sensory ideas, his perspective as a creative director brings us full circle.  Some of the musicians we mentioned:  Lunice Hanorah Kallitechnis Meryem Saci Arooj Aftab (Vulture Prince)  The project I mentioned with my friend: Nadine Altounji, The Stories that Tie Us To trees Stevie Wonder - The Secret Life of Plants Mort Garson - (Mother Earth's) Plantasia Perfumers mentioned:  Ashley Eden Kessler Septimus Piesse Mark Buxton  Music attribute: Billy Wuot - “7h45 making her coffee” Soundcloud  White Noise, Pure noise 3, free for use [No Copyright Music] Chill Lofi Hip Hop Beat FREE Instrumental (Copyright Free) Chillhop Music
May 13, 2021
Aromatic Heritage & Synesthesia
This episode features Caro Verbeek. Observant, soft-spoken, kind and full of historical anecdotes. Her sweet son makes an appearance
January 29, 2021
Scent, Karmic Memory & Healing
This episode of On the Nose was recorded in July with the brilliant Tanaïs, someone I deeply love and admire.  We talk about being trained vs. not trained and our experience as POC in perfumery. We cover creating a perfume with soul, sharing and learning from each other in our complimentary mediums and the importance of embracing and exploring our peoples’ history and representing our ancestors’ stories with accuracy and respect.  You’ll also find us going on tangents and getting real about operations and packaging then going back into memory, trauma, healing and transcendence through scent. “Perfume transcends the confines of borders. It is a borderless substance.”  There are many more quotable gems like this one in this episode, enjoy!  Dana x Shout outs to Fariha Roisin, Yosh Han and The Institute for Art & Olfaction.  Materials mentioned: Nutmeg Marigold /Tagete Mastic gum “Cardamom is our shit” Saffron Safraleine Spices Henna Indolene Blue Lotus Mitti Attar Violet Absolute Sandalwood Curry Heliotrope  Perfumes mentioned:  Mala How You Love Namaka Fayoum Solar’1
October 16, 2020
A Perfumed Pilgrimage
For the first-ever episode of On the Nose, I am excited to have my sister in scent, Ashley Kessler joining me. We met ten years ago in the most enchanting scented way, while students at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery and we've been friends and collaborators ever since. In this episode, we look back on our time in Grasse, what we learned there, and how that has informed our practice since. We cover the project of the year we created, our similarities and differences as humans and perfumers, what a perfume for peace would smell like, and of course, we talk raw materials! While saying absolutely and interesting at a lot :P Materials Mentioned: Ambroxan Beeswax Absolute Olibanum (Frankincense) Resinoid Jasmine Absolute, India Methyl Anthranilate Salicylates (Amyl, Benzyl, Cis-3-hexenyl) Galbanum Sandalwood (Mysore) Future edits will be better from here, btw
July 09, 2020