On the second anniversary (April 13, 2009) of the launch of Glass Petal Smoke, a blog of all things organoleptic and olfactive, Perfumer & Flavorist magazine presents a Q&A with editor Michelle Krell Kydd.
Q: What is Glass Petal Smoke and what is the blog’s mission?
A: Glass Petal Smoke explores the world of the senses through scent and taste. If I am permitted to take a reader on a journey that inspires, informs and in some cases provokes then I have achieved the mission of the blog, which is to democratize information related to flavors and fragrances. In order to accomplish this one must have respect for the subject matter and the reader. Never underestimate the power of words—words matter. They can revive old memories or make new ones and that is not something to trifle with.
Q: What stories resonate with readers most?
A: The senses are about context and imagination. Glass Petal Smoke respects that nook, that comforting place where one can indulge in the personal experience between sense and sense object. The most popular articles on Glass Petal Smoke are the ones written in the personal essay format. Stories in the “Perfume Memories” series are fine examples of this (Mitsouko, The Magic of Miss Dior, and Seeing with Scent). Ingredient stories are also popular, especially if they tie myth, history and science together. Previous posts on saffron, rose, violet, and medlar have consistently held positions in Glass Petal Smoke’s top 20.
Q: You don’t take comments, but you do get fan mail. Care to share anything?
A: A perfumer who reads Glass Petal Smoke told me that my words “…uniquely combine true facts with a power to make people dream.” As a professional writer this is one of the highest compliments I have ever been paid. Learning and imagination are such precious things. When they are combined together in meaningful ways it makes all the trials and tribulations one must endure as a human being worthwhile. Whether we believe we are here only once or for many lifetimes, the idea is to refine our spirit to the point that we can transcend ourselves. It’s not about conquering the world “out there”; it’s about conquering the world inside so we can shape the world around us and leave this world a better place.
Q: Is there a book in your future?
I think that raising awareness of the importance of the senses in everyday life is what I do best. A book would be a natural extension of this. So much has transpired in the last two years including professional assignments that were directly related to the content on Glass Petal Smoke. I can’t say what’s in the tea leaves yet, but I look forward to seeing how things unfold in the future.
Glass Petal Smoke's Top 20 Stories of All Time
1. Sweet Earth Perfume Compact Returns (September 26, 2007)
2. Bloom Magazine (Issue 16): Foliage (October 24, 2007)
3. Rose Pleasures in Food, Drink and Beauty (October 3, 2007)
4. The Perfume of Mimeographs (July 11, 2007)
5. Sechuan Buttons: The Taste of Electricity (September 21, 2008)
6. In Search of a Cookie (Part II): Cuccidati (December 1, 2007)
7. Saffron: Spice of Ecstasy and Seduction (November 17, 2007)
8. On the Horizon: Honeysuckle Berries (August 15, 2007)
9. Holiday Exquisitries: A Sensualist’s Gift Guide (December 10, 2007)
10. Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle: Dans Tes Bras (October 1, 2008)
11. Violet Pleasures in Food and Drink (February 10, 2008)
12. Medlar: The Fruit of Misunderstanding (February 24, 2008)
13. Alkermes: The Scarlet Elixir (May 13, 2008)
14. Lipstick Queen: Black Lipstick for the Living (October 23, 2008)
15. Developing Your Sense of Taste and Smell (July 18, 2007)
16. Keshmesh: Persian Green Raisins (July 25, 2007)
17. Chinese Smoked Tea Eggs (January 8, 2008)
18. Orange Blossom Candy Dots (September 12, 2007)
19. Turkish Delight: Rose as Aphrodisiac (July 5, 2007)
20. Perfume Memories: The Magic of Miss Dior (October 17, 2007)