Alabastron is a journal that bridges the gap between academia and the public to explore aromatic history and culture. Our aim is to create diverse and accessible learning environments in which to discuss how olfaction, Scent Culture, and aromatic trades shape the human experience. 

Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have sought to control their sensory environment and express their values aromatically. They have augmented their olfactive habitat and realities for diverse reasons: cultural, religious, sociological, psychological, personal, commercial,  and political, to name a few. Their motivations for doing so emerge from a complex web of personal, communal, and sensorial stimuli that reveal elements of universal human experiences. 

We at Alabastron wish to explore these topics in a way that honours sensorial experiences and embodied knowledge. We believe that collaboration and dialogue among people with different skill sets and backgrounds create a richer tapestry of human experience. We strive to bring a diverse collection of voices together and elevate those rarely given deference when discussing Scent Culture and fragrance. To achieve this, we are guided by the principle of accessible discourse. We must bring the conversation down from the ivory tower and out from behind paywalls that separate it from living communities and embodied experiences. Accessibility, for us, means striving to remove barriers, checking for blind spots, and listening. Finally, while commercial perfumery receives a disproportionate amount of attention in olfactive discourse, it represents a relatively small and recent segment of the diverse ways in which people scent their worlds. Alabastron aims to move the discourse around scent away from commercialisation and into the domain of human cultures.

Guiding principles:

  • Intersectional dialogue
  • Accessible discourse
  • Celebration of the diversity of sensorial experiences
  • Knowledge beyond Academia 
  • Experience beyond conventional commercial perfumery 
  • An excellent read