Smell of the Day: Banksia Seed Pod Aromatherapy Egg

Smell of The Day is about noticing and appreciating the smells around me. Just one smell. It might be a perfume, a fragrant flower, the odour of something cooking, an unpleasant smell. All smells are equal. All smells are interesting. All smells affect us. Smell of The Day posts will feature one smell that made an impact on me that day.


Banksia seed pod aromatherapy egg

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks. I’ve been unwell for some time with a seemingly untreatable eye infection which makes doing anything vision-oriented (which is everything) difficult. To top it off, our cat got attacked by a feral cat a week ago and has been recovering from multiple wounds and abscesses since then. She’s finally pulling through, and I feel like my eyes might be improving too, so we all had a lovely peaceful time last night and finally got the sleep we needed.

I’m celebrating these small victories and unwinding from the stress by taking it easy today: pottering around the house, rearranging knick-knacks and paintings in the house, mindfully tidying. In the process I was reminded of this lovely hand-turned banksia seed pod “egg”, given to me by a dear friend last summer when she was staying with us. As a follower of my blog and someone interested in all things sensorial herself, she knew that this wonderful little smell-diffusing object would appeal to me.

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Perfume Polytechnic’s Christmas Gift List & Olfactory Experience Ideas


Christmas Party on Bondi Beach, Australia, 1959. From The National Archives of Australia.

Is it that time of year again already?! My, hasn’t it come round fast! I’m sure most of us understand the sensory and emotional excitement that Christmas brings. For those us in the Southern Hemisphere (including myself), Christmas is an important part of summer; most people are on annual leave, children go on school holidays, families go away together, spend days at the beach, picnicking or bush walking. Christmas in Australia is part of an extended summer festival, and is – I can only imagine – very different to the cold Christmases up north.

But there are things we all no doubt have in common: those of us who celebrate Christmas often get overstimulated, overwhelmed even by all the expectations and complexity of this holiday. There is frenzied shopping, cooking and eating, and a busy schedule of catch-ups with friends, family and work mates before the year is out.

Here at Perfume Polytechnic I like to focus on the sense of smell, learning about olfaction, the connections between people (and the role smell plays in that), and explorations of multi-sensory art and experiences. I like to keep things personal, small-scale and intimate, and as a starving artist myself, have learnt that the best things in life are often free, or at the very least, affordable.

So, this year, instead of focusing my Christmas Gift List entirely on consumables, I’m including some experiences that cost nothing (or very little), but might just bring you joy, happiness, wonder and connection with those you love anyway. I’m also including fragrances or fragrant products that I love, or those that involve a process of exploration, curiosity, daring or education.

I hope these ideas interest and inspire you and that you all have a very lovely and peaceful Christmas.

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