Want to know what I’m currently obsessed with? You don’t even have to ask me. Just look at my podcast list. I guarantee it will be littered with the flotsam and jetsam of…whatever I can’t seem to get enough of.
It’s not enough for me to enjoy something. Or even to buy and use things (although that’s another element). I have to learn all the things. And I love podcasts for that.
Right now, my brain is voracious for fragrance knowledge. I want to know about how perfume is made. How it is marketed and sold. I want to learn about its history. And I want to understand how to be a better consumer of ethical fragrance products. I want to know what other people like and why so I can learn what I might like. I want to understand why others might like a type of fragrance I don’t like myself. I want to learn how people decide to become perfumers and what they have to study to get there.
All the things.
I get this way about topics that fascinate me. In the past, I’ve gotten obsessed with fiber crafts the same way. I still LOVE fiber crafting and it’s a big important part of my life. But I no longer haunt the knitting books section at the library or worry about whether or not I made it into a hot spinning class at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. I care about these things a much more sane amount now. 🙂
Back to the podcasts. There are a few I’ve been loving. And others that are kinda duds, in my opinion. I want a podcast to teach me things I don’t already know. I want it to fascinate me. I don’t particularly want it to try and sell me things.
Here are the perfume podcasts I’ve been enjoying:
The Sniff: This podcast is hosted by fragrance journalist Nicola Thomis. I mainlined the 22 available episodes within a matter of days. She focuses on “niche” fragrances, which she defines as the harder to find, more “artisan” perfumers. The terms “niche” and “artisan” are a bit fraught in the industry, from what I can tell. On her podcast it seems to mean she’s more likely to review House of Oud and Angela Ciampagna vs. Chanel or D&G. But she does occasionally review brands that, to my mind, are starting to become more mainstream, like Byredo.
Pinot & Perfume: Hosted by Sarah Chacon. She lives in Florida and talks about it quite a lot. I keep that in mind when I hear her talk about the perfumes she likes because I live in Minnesota and…I can’t help thinking that climate has to play a big factor in what you like to wear, irrespective of personal preferences. Sarah is a perfume enthusiast, not a journalist, and talks about it exclusively from a consumer perspective. She tends to ramble, but I like hearing about the perfumes she likes and why. I ordered a sample of Tom Ford Black Orchid to try, which she has been declaring her love for from the podcast rooftops. We’ll see what I think. She also loves Alien by Mugler, which I just cannot get behind. But she’s entertaining. And she’s been obsessed with perfume for decades rather than months. So she feels like someone fun to hang out with. Check her out.
Fume Chat: Hosted by Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley. Full disclosure, I’ve only listened to a couple episodes, but these guys seem like a lot of goofy fun. And it’s interesting to hear about perfume from a man’s perspective. They like to dive into topics, like why vetiver is so versatile, or obsess about their love of bergamot. But they also seem to do lots of interviews with folks from the industry. I plan to listen more. They haven’t released a new episode since the beginning of 2021. I hope they haven’t faded away.